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This article is reposted from the California Fire Science Consortium blog. For more information go to http://www.cafiresci.org/blog/.

Represented through cake: Mixed-conifer post-fire succession
Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 4:54PM
Tim Kline in cake, forest succession, post-fire

Something so rare and wonderful happened this week that it must be shared:

The Stephens Wildland Fire Science Lab at UC Berkeley recently hosted a departmental happy hour. To celebrate the occasion, Stephens Lab PhD candidate Anu Kramer illustrated a typical Sierra Nevada post-fire succession in the form of three cakes:

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The first cake, shown above, represents a dense Sierra mixed-conifer forest. Large sugar cones with green rice crispies are large remnant pines. The smaller cones with green shredded coconut represent invading shade-tolerant fir trees. Slivered almonds represent a heavy buildup of surface fuels.

 

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Tp represent immediate post-high-sevirty fire effects, Anu employed a highly accurate rendering of stand conditions using a dense, flourless chocolate cake.

 

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A passionfruit cake with chocolate-coconut frosting was used to demonstrate one year post-wildfire regeneration. Note the vibrant understory regeneration with wildflowers.

 

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How's that for effective science communication? Pretty darn good, I'd say.

Big thanks to Anu for the cakes!

Photo credits to Anu Kramer and Susie Kocher.


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