Document


Title

Uncertainty in fire history and restoration of ponderosa pine forests in the western United States
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): William L. Baker; Donna S. Ehle
Editor(s): Philip N. Omi; Linda A. Joyce
Publication Year: 2003

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • calibration
  • fire interval
  • fire scar
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • ponderosa pine forest
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: April 10, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 13214

Description

Fire-history data for ponderosa pine forests in the western U.S. have uncertainties and biases. Targeting multiple-scarred trees and using recorder trees when sampling for fire history may lead to incomplete records. For most of the western U.S., research is insufficient to conclude that high-severity fires did or did not occur in these forests prior to EuroAmerican settlement, because the needed data are not commonly collected. The composite fire interval is shown here to be misleading, but this can be remedied in part with interval estimates by fire size class. These problems mean that an assumption-that high surface-fire frequencies will restore and maintain the structure of these forests-lacks a foundation in reliable fire-history research.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (10.3 MB; pdf)
Citation:
Baker, William L.; Ehle, Donna S. 2003. Uncertainty in fire history and restoration of ponderosa pine forests in the western United States. Pages 319-333. In: Omi, Philip N.; Joyce, Linda A. (technical editors). Fire, Fuel Treatments, and Ecological Restoration: Conference Proceedings: 16-18 April 2002: Fort Collins, Colorado. Proceedings RMRS-P-29. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.