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    Author(s): Scott L. Stephens; Danny L. Fry; Brandon M. CollinsCarl N. Skinner; Ernesto Franco-Vizcaino; Travis J. Freed
    Date: 2010
    Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research 40: 1497-1505
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (213.23 KB)


    Little is known about the probability of fire-scar formation. In this study, we examined all mixed conifer trees for fire-scar formation in a 16 ha watershed that burned as part of a 2003 wildfire in Sierra San Pedro Ma´rtir National Park (SSPM), Mexico. In addition, we examine the probability of fire-scar formation in relation to the previous fire interval in forests in the SSPM and Sierra Nevada. Within the 16 ha SSPM watershed, 1647 trees were assessed (100% census) for new fire scars. The SSPM wildfire burned around the base of 78% of the trees, but only 8% developed a new fire scar. Although the years from tree germination to first fire scar could potentially represent a fire-free period, there is clear evidence from this study that the inclusion of this interval when computing fire statistics is not justified. When the time since previous fire was <10 years, 10–30 years, and >57 years, the probability of rescarring was approximately 0.05, 0.5, and 0.75, respectively. In areas where fires were frequent (<10 years), fire frequencies derived from fire scars will likely underestimate true fire frequency, at least in forests that are similar to those studied here.

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    Stephens, Scott L.; Fry, Danny L.; Collins, Brandon M.; Skinner, Carl N.; Franco-Vizcaino, Ernesto; Freed, Travis J. 2010. Fire-scar formation in Jeffrey pine - mixed conifer forests in the Sierra San Pedro Martir, Mexico. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 40: 1497-1505.


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    fire history, fire scars, dendrochronology, fire ecology

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