Full Citation: Brown, P. M., M. W. Kaye, L. S. Huckaby, and C. H. Baisan. 2001. Fire history along environmental gradients in the Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico: influences of local patterns and regional processes. Ecoscience, v. 8, no. 1, p. 115-126.
External Identifier(s): 10.1080/11956860.2001.11682637 Digital Object Identifier
Location: Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico, U.S.
Ecosystem types: Gradient; mixed-conifer forest; ponderosa pine forest; pinyon-juniper woodland
Southwest FireCLIME Keywords: None
FRAMES Keywords: Abies concolor, Abies lasiocarpa, coniferous forests, dendrochronology, distribution, droughts, ecosystem dynamics, ENSO, European settlement, fire exclusion, fire frequency, fire injuries (plants), fire regimes, fire scar analysis, histories, Juniperus deppeana, land use, landscape ecology, Mexico, mountains, New Mexico, Picea engelmannii, Pinus edulis, Pinus ponderosa, Pinus strobiformis, Populus tremuloides, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Quercus gambelii, understory vegetation

Fire history along environmental gradients in the Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico: influences of local patterns and regional processes

Peter M. Brown, Margot W. Kaye, Laurie S. Huckaby, Christopher H. Baisan


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors reconstructed the historical fire regime along a gradient of forest types in the Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico to determine the influences of regional climate and local human land use across different spatiotemporal scales.


Publication findings:

The authors found synchrony of fire occurrence across the region when dry years were proceeded by wet years. Strong El Niño events associated with especially wet years suppressed fire regionally, but also resulted in a pulse of fine fuel growth which became the primary fuels for surface fire during drought years. The authors found that at local scales, however, topography and elevation had a stronger influence on fire frequency and pattern than climate.

Climate and Fire Linkages

The authors found synchrony of fire occurrence across the region when dry years were proceeded by wet years. Strong El Niño events associated with especially wet years suppressed fire regionally, but also resulted in a pulse of fine fuel growth which became the primary fuels for surface fire during drought years. The authors found that at local scales, however, topography and elevation had a stronger influence on fire frequency and pattern than climate.

The authors found synchrony of fire occurrence across the region when dry years were proceeded by wet years. Strong El Niño events associated with especially wet years suppressed fire regionally, but also resulted in a pulse of fine fuel growth which became the primary fuels for surface fire during drought years. The authors found that at local scales, however, topography and elevation had a stronger influence on fire frequency and pattern than climate.