Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Changes in fire regimes are expected across North America in response to anticipated global climatic changes. Potential changes in large-scale vegetation patterns are predicted as a result of altered fire frequencies. A new vegetation classification was developed by condensing Kuchler potential natural vegetation types into aggregated types that are relatively homogeneous with respect to fire regime. Transition rules were developed to predict potential changes from one vegetation type to another because of increased fire frequency. In general, vegetation currently associated with warmer or drier climates could replace existing vegetation in most biomes. Exceptions are subalpine forests and woodlands at the Arctic treeline, which are predicted to become treeless. The transition rules provide an ecological perspective on possible new configurations of vegetation types, a set of constraints for steady-state models, and a potential method of calibration for dynamic models of large-scale vegetation change.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • 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.


    McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Alvarado, Ernesto. 1996. Predicting the effect of fire on large-scale vegetation patterns in North America. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-489. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 38 p


    Google Scholar


    biome scale, Kuchler types, fire effects, transition rules, vegetation change

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page