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Multi-scale controls of historical forest-fire regimes: new insights from fire-scar networks

Author(s):

Donald A. Falk
Peter M. Brown
Calvin Farris
Peter Z. Fule
Thomas W. Swetnam
Alan H. Taylor
Megan L. Van Horne

Year:

2011

Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Historical Station(s):

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Source:

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 9: 446-454

Description

Anticipating future forest-fire regimes under changing climate requires that scientists and natural resource managers understand the factors that control fire across space and time. Fire scars—proxy records of fires, formed in the growth rings of long-lived trees—provide an annually accurate window into past low-severity fire regimes. In western North America, networks of the fire-scar records spanning centuries to millennia now include hundreds to thousands of trees sampled across hundreds to many thousands of hectares. Development of these local and regional fire-scar networks has created a new data type for ecologists interested in landscape and climate regulation of ecosystem processes—which, for example, may help to explain why forest fires are widespread during certain years but not others. These data also offer crucial reference information on fire as a dynamic landscape process for use in ecosystem management, especially when managing for forest structure and resilience to climate change.

Citation

Falk, Donald A.; Heyerdahl, Emily K.; Brown, Peter M.; Farris, Calvin; Fule, Peter Z.; McKenzie, Donald; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Taylor, Alan H.; Van Horne, Megan L. 2011. Multi-scale controls of historical forest-fire regimes: new insights from fire-scar networks. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 9: 446-454.

Cited

Publication Notes

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/39310