Seismic Regeneration: On the Edge

The latest BERA publication from the Vegetation Team provides insights to factors that promote tree regeneration on seismic lines. Dr. Caroline Franklin and colleagues’ new paper in Forest Ecology and Management examines the influence of seismic-line width, orientation, and microclimate on tree regeneration on lines and adjacent forests.

  • Compared to interior forest, the edges of seismic lines are warmer and more humid, but these effects were greater for wide lines. At night, wide line centres were cooler and more humid than narrow seismic line centres.
  • Light intensity on wide lines was at least 1.5 times higher than narrow lines and up to 3.8 times higher than interior forest. Edge effects of light intensity extended up to 10 m into the forest on wide lines but were restricted to the forest edge on narrow lines.
  • Tree regeneration was highest where light intensity was highest (the centre of wide north-south seismic lines) and a 10-fold increase in light intensity resulted in 5.8 times more regenerating trees.