Skip to Main Content
Dynamics of an Anthropogenic Fire RegimeAuthor(s): R. P. Guyette; R. M. Muzika; D. C. Dey
Source: Ecosystems 5(5):472-486
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: North Central Research Station
PDF: View PDF (1.96 MB)
DescriptionHuman interaction with fire and vegetation occurs at many levels of human population density and cultural development, from subsistence cultures to highly technological societies. The dynamics of these interactions with respect to wildland fire are often difficult to understand and identify at short temporal scales. Dendrochronological fire histories from the Missouri Ozarks, coupled with human population data, offer a quantitative means of examining historic (1680-1990) changes in the anthropogenic fire regime. A temporal analysis of fire scar dates over the last 3 centuriqs indicates that the percent of sites burned and fire intervals of anthropogenic fires are conditioned by the following four limiting factors: (a) anthropogenic ignition, (b) surface fuel production, (c) fuel fragmentation, and (d) cultural behavior. During an ignition-dependent stage (fewer than 0.64 humans/km2), the percent of sites burned is logarithmically related to human population (r2 = 0.67). During a fuel-limited stage, where population density exceeds a threshold of 0.64 humans/km2, the percent of sites burned is independent of population increases and is limited by fuel production. During a fuel-fragmentation stage, regional trade allows population densities to increase above 3.4 humans/km2, and the percent of sites burned becomes inversely related to population (r2 = 0.18) as decreases in fuel continuity limit the propagation of surface fires. During a culture-dependent stage, increases in the value of timber over forage greatly reduce the mean fire interval and the percent of sites burned. Examples of the dynamics of these four stages are presented from the Current River watershed of the Missouri Ozarks.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationGuyette, R. P.; Muzika, R. M.; Dey, D. C. 2002. Dynamics of an Anthropogenic Fire Regime. Ecosystems 5(5):472-486
Keywordshuman population density, Ozarks, Missouri, disturbance, dendrochronology, fire regimes
- Fire history of oakpine forests in the Lower Boston Mountains, Arkansas, USA
- Making sense of human ecology mapping: an overview of approaches to integrating socio-spatial data into environmental planning
- Modeling human-environmental systems
XML: View XML