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    Author(s): Carolyn T. HunsakerJonathan W. Long
    Date: 2014
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-247. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 323-340. Chap. 6.2
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (600.06 KB)

    Description

    Riparian areas are typically highly productive areas that sustain important socioecological benefits, including the capacity to modulate effects of watershed disturbances on aquatic systems. Recent studies have shown that fire behavior in riparian areas varies with landscape attributes. Smaller, headwater riparian areas often burn similarly to adjacent uplands, whereas riparian areas next to larger streams (4th order and higher) often burn less frequently and less severely because of moister microclimates, and therefore can serve as fire breaks within a landscape. However, other riparian areas may accumulate fuels rapidly owing to their high productivity, and during dry fire seasons they can serve as wicks that carry high-intensity fire through a landscape.

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    Citation

    Hunsaker, C.T.; Long, J.W. 2014. Forested riparian areas. In: Long, J.W.; Quinn-Davidson, L.; Skinner, C.N., eds. Science synthesis to support socioecological resilience in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Range. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-247. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 323-340. Chap. 6.2.

    Keywords

    ecological restoration, socioecological systems, ecosystem resilience, forest planning, fire management, altered fire regimes, wildfire, climate change, anthropogenic disturbance, invasive species, water resources, species of conservation concern, California

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