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About the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS)

FEIS facilitates use of research as a basis for sound management.

The Fire Effects Information System is an online collection of reviews of the scientific literature about fire effects on plants and animals and about fire regimes of plant communities in the United States. FEIS reviews are based on thorough literature searches, often supplemented with insights from field scientists and managers. FEIS provides reviews that are efficient to use, thoroughly documented, and defensible. Approximately 15 to 30 new or revised reviews are published in FEIS each year. There are 3 types of FEIS reviews:

1) Species Reviews include information on plant, lichen, and wildlife species’ life history, ecology, and relationship to fire. They are available for more than 1,200 species occurring throughout the United States.

2) Fire Studies are summaries of one or more fire research projects at a specific location. Only research that provides detailed descriptions of site characteristics, burning conditions, fire behavior, and fire effects is included in Fire Studies. FEIS contains more than 150 Fire Studies, which complement Species Reviews and provide information on hundreds of species for which a Review is not available.

3) Fire Regime Syntheses provide up-to-date information on fire regimes of ecosystems in the United States. The syntheses provide information from the literature and from LANDFIRE data on historical fire frequency, spatial pattern, extent, and seasonality; historical ignition sources; typical patterns of fire intensity and severity; and contemporary changes in fuels and fire regimes. The detailed analysis in Fire Regime Syntheses supplements the information in Species Reviews and provides fire regime information on plant communities.

The Fire Effects Library houses the literature that supports FEIS reviews. The library contains more than 61,000 references on fire effects and the general biology and ecology of organisms in North America. References are catalogued in an online database, the Citation Retrieval System (CRS). To add to the library, FEIS staff regularly search scientific abstracts, literature databases, and tables of contents from refereed English-language scientific journals and government publication lists. Other library acquisitions include theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, and unpublished reports. A link to the list of scientific literature routinely searched is provided below. Users are encouraged to use CRS to supplement information from FEIS reviews. Managers from several land management agencies (United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, and United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service) choose the species included in FEIS. These agencies funded the original work and continue to support enhancement and maintenance of the database.

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