Impact of fire suppression on a mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): D. J. Parsons; S. H. DeBenedetti
Publication Year: 1979

Cataloging Information

  • Abies concolor
  • age classes
  • Calocedrus decurrens
  • coniferous forests
  • distribution
  • dominance (ecology)
  • fire exclusion
  • fire management
  • fire suppression
  • flammability
  • forest management
  • forest types
  • fuel accumulation
  • fuel loading
  • ignition
  • incendiary fires
  • montane forests
  • national parks
  • nutrient cycling
  • overstory
  • Pinus lambertiana
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • reproduction
  • Sequoia
  • Sequoiadendron giganteum
  • site treatments
  • succession
  • surface fuels
  • trees
  • understory vegetation
  • wildfires
  • wildlife management
  • wood
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 35145
Tall Timbers Record Number: 9439
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


One hundred years of fire suppression in a mixed-conifer forest which evolved with frequent natural fires has shifted successional patterns, increased density of small trees, and produced an unnatural accumulation of ground fuels. Analysis of species composition, vegetation structure and age distribution in each of four forest types within the mixed-conifer zone of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, has documented a substantial increase in young, shade tolerant white fir in each type. The original dominant species have decreased in relative abundance in most cases. The sequoia type has been most effected by the fire suppression policy. Giant sequoia show poor reproduction in the absence of fire. The sequoia type also exhibits the greatest accumulation of ground fuels. The ponderosa pine, white fir and mixed forest types also show successional changes as well as significant accumulations of flammable ground fuels following a century of fire exclusion. The management implications of these findings are discussed. ©1979 Elsevier Science.

Parsons, D. J., and S. H. DeBenedetti. 1979. Impact of fire suppression on a mixed-conifer forest. Forest Ecology and Management, v. 2, no. 1, p. 21-33.