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

    Description

    Simulation models of disturbance and succession are being increasingly applied to characterize landscape composition and dynamics under natural fire regimes, and to evaluate alternative management strategies for ecological restoration and fire hazard reduction. However, we have a limited understanding of how landscapes respond to changes in fire frequency, and about the sensitivity of model predictions to assumptions about successional pathways and fire behavior. We updated an existing landscape dynamics model (LADS) to simulate the complex interactions between forest dynamics, fire spread, and fire effects in dry forests of the interior Pacific Northwest. Experimental model runs were conducted on a hypothetical landscape at fire rotations ranging from 5 to 50 years. Three sensitivity analyses were carried out to explore the responses of landscape composition to (1) parameters characterizing succession and fire effects on vegetation, (2) the probability of fire spread into different successional stages, and (3) the size and spatial pattern of static fire refugia. The area of old open-canopy forests was highest at the shortest fire rotations, and was particularly sensitive to the probability of stand-replacement fire in open-canopy forests and to the fire-free period required for ingrowth to occur in open-canopy forests. The area of old closed-canopy forests increased with lengthening fire rotation, but always composed a relatively small portion of the landscape (< 10 percent). The area of old closed-canopy forests increased when fire spread was more rapid in open-canopy forests than in closed-canopy forests, and when the physical landscape incorporated large "fire refugia" with low fire spread rates. Old closed-canopy forests appear to compose a relatively minor landscape component in mixed-severity fire regimes with fire rotations of 50 years or less. However, these results are sensitive to assumptions about the spatial interactions between fire spread, landscape vegetation patterns, and the underlying physical landscape.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us 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.

    Citation

    Wimberly, Michael C.; Kennedy, Rebecca S.H. 2008. Spatially explicit modeling of mixed-severity fire regimes and landscape dynamics. Forest Ecology and Management. 254: 511-523

    Keywords

    Interior Pacific Northwest, simulation, fire, succession, late-successional forests

    Related Search


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