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Reconstructing fire history of lodgepole pine on Chagoopa Plateau, Sequoia National Park, CaliforniaAuthor(s): Anthony C. Caprio
Source: In: Narog, Marcia G. 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. 255-262
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
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DescriptionInformation on fire’s role in pre-twentieth-century lodgepole pine forests of the southern Sierra Nevada is limited. It has generally been assumed that fire plays only a minor role in lodgepole’s dynamics unlike in other portions of its range. This assertion was examined by sampling fire-scarred trees and reconstructing fire history in monospecific stands of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. murrayana [Grev. & Balf.] Engelm.) on Chagoopa Plateau in the Kern River drainage of Sequoia National Park. Using dendrochronological methods 17 fire events were dated between A.D. 1385 and 2000. Prior to 1860 and Euro-American settlement, fire event dates showed mixed degrees of synchronization among sites with a number of widespread fires of the plateau. Mean fire return interval among sites was 45.4 yr, ranging from 31 to 74 yr by site. The frequency of past fire occurrence on the plateau dicates fire had a strong influence on this ecosystem, which continues through the present. These findings differ significantly from the generally held notion that fire does not play an important role in lodgepole ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada. Also of interest was a cluster of 1880s fire dates at sites near Sky Parlor Meadow suggesting burning around meadows by Euro-American shepherds.
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CitationCaprio, Anthony C. 2008. Reconstructing Fire History of Lodgepole Pine on Chagoopa Plateau, Sequoia National Park, California. In: Narog, Marcia G. 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. 255-262
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