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 Ecosystem Effects

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Citation: Blomdahl, Erika M.; Kolden, Crystal A.; Meddens, Arjan J.H.; Lutz, James A. 2019. The importance of small fire refugia in the central Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 432:1041-1052.


The authors characterized the spatial distribution and size of unburned patches with the Rim fire and examined the relationships between environmental variables and unburned patches to predict the occurrence of small refugia.

Citation: Haffey, Collin M.; Sisk, Thomas D.; Allen, Craig D.; Thode, Andrea E.; Margolis, Ellis Q. 2018. Limits to ponderosa pine regeneration following large high-severity forest fires in the United States southwest. Fire Ecology 14(1):143-163.


The authors looked at large patches of high severity, stand-replacing fire in ponderosa pine ecosystems along a gradient of topography and climate as a stand-in for climate variability to understand the likelihood of regeneration due to topography, climate, drought, and distance to seed source. They selected fires that burned between 1996 and 2006 as this period of time was particularly dry across the Southwest.

Citation: Parks, Sean A.; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.; Panunto, Matthew H. 2018. What drives low-severity fire in the southwestern USA? Forests 9(4):165.


The authors evaluated both climate and biophysical factors that influence the occurrence of low severity fire in the Southwest. Low severity fire is an important component of many high frequency, fire-adapted ecosystems in the southwest, so understanding those conditions which promote low severity fire is highly relevant to land managers.

Citation: Loehman, Rachel; Flatley, Will; Holsinger, Lisa; Thode, Andrea. 2018. Can land management buffer impacts of climate changes and altered fire regimes on ecosystems of the Southwestern United States? Forests 9(4):192.


Using two mechanistic ecosystem-fire models, Fire BGCv2 in the Jemez Mountains and LANDIS-II in the Kaibab, the authors projected contemporary climate and two future emissions scenarios (“warm-dry” and “hot-arid”) to the year 2100 to predict changes to forests and fire regimes in a ponderosa pine and a mixed-conifer ecosystem. They also modeled four management strategies (suppression-only, current treatment intensity, and three and six times current treatment intensity) to see if management may be able to counteract the effects of climate change on forest composition and structure.

Citation: Owen, Suzanne M.; Sieg, Carolyn H.; Sánchez Meador, Andrew J.; Fulé, Peter Z.; Iniguez, José M.; Baggett, L. Scott; Fornwalt, Paula J.; Battaglia, Michael A. 2017. Spatial patterns of ponderosa pine regeneration in high-severity burn patches. Forest Ecology and Management 405:134-149.


The authors studied the spatial regeneration patterns of ponderosa pine within large patches of high severity fire, specifically regeneration distribution and height from distance to unburned edge.

Citation: Laughlin, Daniel C.; Strahan, Robert T.; Huffman, David W.; Sánchez Meador, Andrew J. 2017. Using trait-based ecology to restore resilient ecosystems: historical conditions and the future of montane forests in western North America. Restoration Ecology 25(S2):135-146.


The authors examined the ability of trait-based ecological restoration to enhance forest ecosystem resilience under projected climate change and increased fire frequency.

Citation: van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Das, Adrian J. 2016. Does prescribed fire promote resistance to drought in low elevation forests of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA? Fire Ecology 12(1):13-25.


The authors sampled burned and unburned mixed conifer forest stands in the midst of a drought (2014) to determine if prescribed fire can confer resistance to drought and reduce tree mortality in low elevation forests at three national parks in southern California.

Citation: Andrus, Robert A.; Veblen, Thomas T.; Harvey, Brian J.; Hart, Sarah J. 2016. Fire severity unaffected by spruce beetle outbreak in spruce-fir forests in southwestern Colorado. Ecological Applications 26(3):700-711.


The authors examined the effects of spruce beetle infestation on fire severity during the drought years of 2012 to 2013.

Citation: Coppoletta, Michelle; Merriam, Kyle E.; Collins, Brandon M. 2016. Post-fire vegetation and fuel development influences fire severity patterns in reburns. Ecological Applications 26(3):686-699.


The authors sampled field plots that reburned to examine how biophysical characteristics, topography, fire weather, time-since-fire, and initial fire severity affected subsequent reburn severity

Citation: Iniguez, Jose M.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Baisan, Christopher H. 2016. Fire history and moisture influences on historical forest age structure in the sky islands of southern Arizona, USA. Journal of Biogeography 43(1):85-95.


The authors examined synchrony of stand age and structure between geographically separated sites, or sky islands, to determine the influence of moisture and/or drought variability versus fire frequency on historic stand development.