Interactions of fire regimes and land use in the central Rio Grande valley
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): C. H. Baisan; T. W. Swetnam
Publication Year: 1997

Cataloging Information

  • Abies concolor
  • Abies lasiocarpa
  • biomass
  • dendrochronology
  • fire frequency
  • fire injuries (plants)
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire suppression
  • forest management
  • grasslands
  • grazing
  • hardwood forests
  • histories
  • ignition
  • Juniperus scopulorum
  • land use
  • lightning
  • lightning caused fires
  • livestock
  • mountainous terrain
  • mountains
  • Native Americans
  • New Mexico
  • Picea engelmannii
  • Pinus edulis
  • Pinus flexilis
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Populus tremuloides
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Quercus gambelii
  • riparian habitats
  • vegetation surveys
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 6, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 37653
Tall Timbers Record Number: 12155
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.78:RM-330
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


Four centuries of land use history were compared to fire regime characteristics along a use-intensity gradient. Changes in intensity and type of utilization varied directly with changes in fire regime characteristics near population centers, while remote areas showed little effect. Changes in fire frequency and fire-climate relationships during some periods suggest that humans augmented 'natural' fire associated with lightning ignitions. Our results show that human alterations in fire regime characteristics can be documented and, in some cases, can be distinguished from pre-existing conditions dominated by physical and biological processes that operate independently of human cultural effects. Results also support the view that pre-20th century human impacts on landscapes were localized and episodic, rather than regional and constant.

Online Link(s):
Baisan, C. H., and T. W. Swetnam. 1997. Interactions of fire regimes and land use in the central Rio Grande valley. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station Research Station, no. 330, p. 1-20.