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    Author(s): J.D. McIver; C.J. Fettig
    Date: 2010
    Source: Forest Science 56: 2-3
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (1.13 MB)


    This special issue of Forest Science features the national Fire and Fire Surrogate study (FFS), a niultisite, multivariate research project that evaluates the ecological consequences of prescribed fire and its mechanical surrogates in seasonally dry forests of the United States. The need for a comprehensive national FFS study stemmed from concern that information on the ecological effects of restoration treatments designed to improve current, unsustainable conditions in seasonally dry forests was lacking. Current conditions are the result of climate change and forest management practices over the past 150 years that together have resulted in conditions that are undesirable and unsustainable, especially in forests that have an annual dry season (Stephens and Ruth 2005). In particular, the structure and tree-species composition of forests that once experienced frequent, low-to-moderate intensity wildfires have been altered by fire suppression or exclusion, grazing, and the preferential harvest of largediameter trees. These practices, in the context of climate change, have resulted in increased tree density, decreased overall tree size, changes in tree-species composition, and increased fuel loads. Conservative estimates place >10 million hectares of forests in the United States in an elevated fire hazard condition class and much of this land area is widely thought to need some form of fuel reduction and ecological restoration (Agee and Skinner 2005).

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    McIver, J.D.; and Fettig, C.J. 2010. Ecological consequences of alternative fuel reduction treatments in seasonally dry forests: the national fire and fire surrogate study. Forest Science 56: 2-3.

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