Landscape-scale patterns of fire and drought on the high plains, USAAuthor(s): Paulette Ford; Charles Jackson; Matthew Reeves; Benjamin Bird; Dave Turner
Source: In: Sustainable use of grassland resources for forage production, biodiversity and environmental protection; proceedings, XXIII International Grassland Congress; 2015 November 20-24; New Delhi, India. 3 p.
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (286.0 KB)
Related Research Highlights
Rangeland Drought: Effects and Adaptation Strategies
We examine 31 years (1982-2012) of temperature, precipitation and natural wildfire occurrence data for Federal and Tribal lands to determine landscape-scale patterns of drought and fire on the southern and central High Plains of the western United States. The High Plains states of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming have been in the midst of ongoing extreme drought, experiencing below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures for the past several years. Climate change is predicted to have multiple effects on fire regimes. Longer periods of drought conditions, coupled with hot, dry and windy weather, provide the conditions for wildfire (Ford et al., 2012), and megafires, or large-scale fires that significantly exceed those of recent decades are now occurring in grassland, shrubland and desert ecosystems (Chambers and Pellant, 2008). Our objective is to relate the frequency and size of wildfires to precipitation, temperature and latitudinal gradients to increase understanding of wildfire and drought interactions on the Great Plains in a changing climate.
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Ford, Paulette; Jackson, Charles; Reeves, Matthew; Bird, Benjamin; Turner, Dave. 2015. Landscape-scale patterns of fire and drought on the high plains, USA. In: Sustainable use of grassland resources for forage production, biodiversity and environmental protection; proceedings, XXIII International Grassland Congress; 2015 November 20-24; New Delhi, India. 3 p.
Keywordsclimate, drought, fire, Great Plains
- Wildfire potential evaluation during a drought event with a regional climate model and NDVI
- Climate relationships with increasing wildfire in the southwestern US from 1984 to 2015
- Functional response of U.S. grasslands to the early 21st-century drought
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