Skip to Main Content
Effects of wildfires on riparian restoration sites, [electronic resource]Author(s): Jonathan W. Long; B. Mae Burnette
Source: In: Seaton, Robert; Anderson, Fran, eds. Proceedings of the 16th annual conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration: August 24-26, 2004, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Madison, WI: Society for Ecological Restoration. 5 p.
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (490.9 KB)
DescriptionWe monitored changes in vegetation and channel morphology along reaches of two perennial streams, Limestone Canyon and East Cedar Creek, on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona starting in the fall of 1995. Enormous wildfires caused extensive erosion and runoff in the watersheds containing the sites in 2002 and 2003, respectively. All reaches within the Limestone Canyon site suffered severe channel downcutting, lateral erosion, and removal of herbaceous and shrubby vegetation from the streamsides. At East Cedar Creek, the channel aggraded without noticeable bank erosion, and most of the herbaceous vegetation remained intact. Many differences between the two sites likely account for the different responses to post-wildfire floods. Most of the watershed of Limestone Canyon burned severely, while only a much smaller portion of the East Cedar Creek watershed was burned. Limestone Canyon is located in a moderately steep valley with canyon walls composed of coarse limestone and sandstone materials, while East Cedar Creek is located in a flatter, broader valley where silty substrates predominate. Prior to the fire, the geology and geomorphology of the East Cedar Creek site had facilitated luxuriant growth of soil-binding graminoids that protected the stream bed from scour. Due to the large differences between the sites, it is difficult to determine which factors were most important in shaping their response to wildfire. However, because most of the differences are highly correlated across the landscape, it is possible to predict which areas are most likely to be damaged by wildfire. The steep canyons of the Mogollon Rim appear particularly vulnerable to lasting impacts from wildfire.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- 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.
CitationLong, Jonathan W.; Burnette, B. Mae. 2004. Effects of wildfires on riparian restoration sites. In: Seaton, Robert; Anderson, Fran, eds. Proceedings of the 16th annual conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration: August 24-26, 2004, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Madison, WI: Society for Ecological Restoration. 5 p.
Keywordswildfires, riparian areas, restoration, watersheds, Arizona
- Erosion rates of wood during natural weathering. Part I, Effects of grain angle and surface texture
- Rill erosion rates in burned forests
- Evaluating the effectiveness of burned area emergency response (BAER) efforts after the 2003 wildfires, southern California
XML: View XML