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Methodology + Findings

Although natural adaptations to wildfire exist, fungal diversity and abundance often decreases following fire, with little evidence of natural recovery (within 10 years post-fire!) Fungi, and the ecosystems they support, may need assistance to regenerate after increasingly catastrophic megafires. 


Treatment Areas

  • Five burn scars (I., II., III., IV., V.)

  • Arranged along a latitudinal gradient from S California to S Oregon

  • Each is paired with an unburned reference site

  • Baseline environmental and biotic surveys were conducted at each burn scar and unburned reference site

Wattle Construction

Cylindrical straw wattles, wrapped with wood fiber mesh netting, similar in construction to those commonly used to prevent erosion.


We innovate by inoculating these wattles with microbes from local ecosystems or commercially-available inoculum.


We deploy them in randomized blocks throughout the climate gradient.


Soil Sampling Schedule

T0 = Winter 2023 (all subplots sampled): COMPLETE

T1 = Spring (May) 2023 (all subplots sampled)

T2 = Spring (May) 2024 (all subplots sampled)


Soil Analyses

  • Fungal and bacterial community composition

  • Nutrients, including bioavailable forms

  • Soil health indicators


Vegetation Monitoring

  • Monitoring native plant biodiversity

  • Comparing burned and unburned plots over time across the climate gradient

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