U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Fire Science Brief, Issue 147, December 2011


US government work.


High-severity wildfires can profoundly affect soils and plant communities, thus requiring emergency rehabilitation treatments such as post-fire seeding. Intended to stabilize soils, reduce erosion, and combat non-native species invasions, post-fire seeding is typically one of the first treatments used by most U.S. natural resource agencies. But despite its widespread use, there is still doubt about the treatment’s actual effectiveness and ecological impacts. Therefore, researchers conducted a study to gain more definitive insight on the ecological effects and usefulness of post-fire seeding. The first part of the study involved an evidence-based review of scientifi c articles, theses, and government publications to address questions on soil erosion, non-native plant invasion, and native plant community recovery. Researchers then analyzed Forest Service Burned Area Reports to assess seeding trends related to species, costs, and area seeded.