Presented by Erin Hanan, University of Nevada, Reno
Climate change and human actions, such as fire suppression, have altered fuel characteristics and fire regimes in watersheds across western North America. As the climate continues to change, it grows increasingly urgent to develop tools for forecasting future fire activity and to anticipate how changes in fire activity will affect ecosystem and watershed function, including processes such as nutrient cycling, carbon retention, and streamflow. My research examines how wildfire regimes are changing across the west and in turn, how these changes influence plants, soils, hydrology, and the interactions among them. In this talk, I will discuss some of my current research projects as they relate to the following three questions: (1) how have climate change and human activities influenced fire regimes in western North America, (2) how do shifting fire regimes alter biogeochemical and ecohydrological processes, and (3) what can we expect in the future?