Webinar - Getting to the Core: Utilizing Paleoecology to Understand Fire in the Northeast


Presented by: Madi Landrum, Ph.D. student in the Ecology and Environmental Sciences Program and Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine

The need to understand long-term natural and human influences on fire is becoming increasingly important as global climate change increases the frequency and severity of forest fires in the northeastern United States. Meanwhile, there is a growing appreciation for the role Indigenous peoples have played in maintaining ecosystems over millennia. While climate is largely thought to be the main driver of regional ecosystem processes in the northeast, the role of fire, including Indigenous fire management, is actively debated. Historical accounts and Indigenous oral knowledge (e.g. place names) indicate that Native peoples have used fire to create mosaic landscapes throughout the northeast, which is likely to have influenced local diversity and species composition, altering overall forest structure. During this presentation, we will walk through historical records, Indigenous Knowledge, modern ecological studies, and paleoecological studies, both new and old, that provide insight into the fire history of Maine. By combining these various ways of knowing, we will begin to explore our knowledge gaps regarding fire in Maine and expand our capacity to model future fire scenarios and manage for resilient landscapes in a warming world.

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Feb 22, 2023 1:00 pm



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