Seed Pool Response to Juniper/Pinyon Encroachment and Fire


Kert Young, Ph.D candidate, Brigham Young University,
Bruce Roundy

Study Dates:

September 2006 to September 2008

SageSTEP Study Plots:

Onaqui sage/woodland

Study Design and Objectives:


  • To determine the effect of fire on viable seed pool composition and species abundance
  • To determine influence of Utah juniper/pinyon density gradient on viable seed pool composition and species abundance

As juniper invades, it can reduce the numbers of more desirable species that were formerly present. This study will help land managers understand vegetation response after juniper removal and correlations with pre-control juniper density for a particular site.

Researchers collected pre-burn soil core samples in the fall of 2006 and will be collecting post-burn and then yearly samples for at least two years. Soil and litter will be separated and the seed bank will be evaluated by direct germination in a greenhouse.