AFSC webinar with Katherine Hayes, University of Colorado Denver--Rescheduled
This JFSP funded study utilized field observations of fuel composition, structures, and spatial arrangement in a natural experiment whereby different plots had differing frequencies of fire histories, from a single burn and recovery, similar to historical norms, to three fires in the last 60 years, similar to many projections of future conditions. These datapoints are important for management in terms of both fire likelihood and behavior, as well as from an ecological perspective as future habitat, carbon stocks, and future functioning. The study then parameterized a high resolution, physics based model that can take observations of novel structures and realistically generate future fire behavior under multiple wind and weather scenarios. By examining regeneration in sites across a gradient of fire histories, we found that conifer recruitment decreases dramatically after multiple short interval fires, likely because of the loss of seed source. Deciduous species are becoming increasingly dominant, and species like A. crispa, P. tremuloides, and Salix are present in unprecedented quantities. This is seen most strongly in sites with three consecutive fires over the last 60 years, indicating the strength in empirical investigation of the changing boreal forests. We expected that this change in forest composition translated to changes in fuel structures, moistures, and arrangements.
Webinar recording available here
Presentation slides and webinar chat available in the attached files