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Postfire Vegetation Recovery in the Santa Monica Mountains Under Two Alternative Management Programs





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n the autumn of 1993, two large wildfires were ignited within a week of each other at opposite ends of the Santa Monica Mountains. This study com- pared postfire plant recovery on the Green Meadow burn, which was managed passively by relying solely on natural regeneration, with recovery on the Old Topanga burn, which was actively managed by aerial seeding of mostly non-native annual grasses and forbs. Establishment of both exotic and native seeded species was very poor and largely insignificant, relative to the natural regeneration. Com- paring recovery on the Old Topanga burn and Green Meadow burn, there was no significant difference in plant cover on the two burns. Aerial seeding did contrib- ute to a significantly greater number of non-native species on the Old Topanga burn, but it is unknown whether or not seeding contributed to the reduced species richness observed on the Old Topanga sites.