Spatial patterns of Mexican pine-oak forests under different recent fire regimes
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): P. Z. Fule; W. W. Covington
Publication Year: 1998

Cataloging Information

  • alder
  • Alnus
  • bark
  • Eucalyptus obliqua
  • fire exclusion
  • fire frequency
  • fire injuries (plants)
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • forest management
  • jack pine
  • long-needled pines
  • madrone
  • Mexico
  • mortality
  • overstory
  • pine hardwood forests
  • Pinus arizonica
  • Pinus banksiana
  • Pinus durangensis
  • Pinus engelmannii
  • population density
  • regeneration
  • Sierra Madre Occidental
  • size classes
  • spatial pattern
  • thinning
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 50334
Tall Timbers Record Number: 26922
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Not in File
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.


Patterns of spatial arrangement, tree density, and species composition were compared in three unharvested pine-oak forests under different recent fire regimes: (1) an uninterrupted frequent fire regime, (2) fire exclusion, and (3) fire exclusion followed by the return of fire. Regeneration was dense and highly aggregated at all sites but the frequent-fire overstory was random to uniform in spatial distribution and relatively open while the fire-excluded sites had clumped overstory trees with a high density of smaller trees. Dominance by sprouting species was greatest at the fire-excluded sites. Mortality was spatially aggregated at all sites, consistent both with thinning by fire and density-dependent mortality, but competitive self-thinning appeared insufficient to counteract the increased tree density without fire. The return of fire after 29 years of exclusion reduced tree density but left overstory trees aggregated and led to vigorous oak and alder sprouting. Frequent fire disturbance is considered essential to maintain open pine forests; fire exclusion with or without subsequent fire appears to lead to denser forests dominated by smaller trees of sprouting species. © 1998 Kluwer Academic Pulishers. Printed in Belgium. Abstract reproduced with kind permission of Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Online Link(s):
Fule, P. Z., and W. W. Covington. 1998. Spatial patterns of Mexican pine-oak forests under different recent fire regimes. Plant Ecology, v. 134, no. 2, p. 197-209.