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Geographic variation in mixed-conifer forest fire regimes in CaliforniaAuthor(s): Beaty R. Matthew; Taylor Alan H.
Source: In: Narog, Marcia G., tech. coord. 2008. Proceedings of the 2002 Fire Conference: Managing fire and fuels in the remaining wildlands and open spaces of the Southwestern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-189. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. p. 123-130
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: View PDF (274.93 KB)
DescriptionThis paper reviews recent research from California on geographic variability in mixed conifer
(MC) forest fire regimes. MC forests are typically described as having experienced primarily
frequent, low to moderate severity burns prior to fire suppression that created a mosaic of
vegetation patches with variable structure. Research throughout California generally supports
this view, but recent research demonstrates that fire regimes and vegetation patterns in the
MC zone were more complex and displayed significant spatial and temporal variability at
landscape and regional scales. At the landscape scale, patterns of fire severity and fire return
intervals varied with forest composition and environmental setting (e.g., fire frequency
generally decreases from south to north facing slopes). There were also apparent regional
differences in some fire regime parameters (e.g., season of burn, fire severity) and not in
others (e.g., fire return interval). The degree of geographic variation in MC forest fire regimes
suggests that researchers should be cautious when extrapolating relationships between fire
regimes and forest structure that are observed in one area to other locations.
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CitationBeaty, R. Matthew ; Taylor, Alan H. 2008. Geographic variation in mixed-conifer forest fire regimes in California. In: Narog, Marcia G., tech. coord. 2008. Proceedings of the 2002 Fire Conference: Managing fire and fuels in the remaining wildlands and open spaces of the Southwestern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-189. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. p. p. 123-130
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