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Yellowstone National Park Report

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The 1988 Yellowstone fires created a strikingly heterogeneous pattern of severely burned, lightly burned, and unburned forests across a large portion of Yellowstone's subalpine plateau (Turner et al. 1994). Equally striking has been the variation in post-fire tree seedling density throughout the burned forests (Table 1). In 1999 we initiated a 3-year study of post-fire succession, with three principal objectives: (1) to document the variation in post-fire tree sapling density and to map the spatial patterns of sapling density (2) to explain the causes of the variation in post­fire sapling density (3) to explore the consequences of variable post-fire sapling density for ecosystem processes, specifically aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and leaf area index (LAI).