The effects of humans and topography on wildland fire, forests, and species abundance
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): R. P. Guyette; D. C. Dey
Editor(s): M. A. Spetich
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • agriculture
  • amphibians
  • Arkansas
  • Armillaria gallica
  • Armillaria mellea
  • birds
  • burning intervals
  • Canada
  • community ecology
  • distribution
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire frequency
  • fire regimes
  • fire suppression
  • forest management
  • fungi
  • ground cover
  • herbaceous vegetation
  • histories
  • human caused fires
  • ignition
  • Indiana
  • land use
  • landscape ecology
  • light
  • logging
  • microclimate
  • Missouri
  • Ontario
  • overstory
  • Ozarks
  • pine hardwood forests
  • Piranga olivacea
  • Piranga rubra
  • plant communities
  • population density
  • Quercus alba
  • Quercus stellata
  • reptiles
  • small mammals
  • species diversity (animals)
  • species diversity (plants)
  • statistical analysis
  • succession
  • topography
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 9, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 42586
Tall Timbers Record Number: 17687
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.88:SRS-73
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.


Ignitions, fuels, topography, and climate interact through time to create temporal and spatial differences in the frequency of fire, which, in turn, affects ecosystem structure and function. In many ecosystems non-human ignitions are overwhelmed by anthropogenic ignitions. Human population density, culture, and topographic factors are quantitatively related to fire regimes and the long-term pattern in fire frequency and species composition. These factors can be quantitatively related and used to reconstruct and predict the frequency of fire in ecosystems and to identify changing factors involved in anthropogenic fire regimes. Quantitative fire histories from oak-pine sites in Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, and Ontario are used to examine patterns of interaction in fuels, ignitions, and topography over a period of 300 years. Fire regimes and fire frequencies are associated with the abundance of many species of reptiles, birds, fungi, and plants. Human popoulation density and topographic roughness are master variables in understanding temporal and spatial differences in fire regimes and their effects on ecosystems.

Guyette, R. P., and D. C. Dey. 2004. The effects of humans and topography on wildland fire, forests, and species abundance, in Spetich, M. A., Upland oak ecology symposium: history, current conditions, and sustainability. Fayetteville, AK. USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station,Asheville, NC. p. 128-131,General Technical Report SRS-73.