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Mixed-severity fire regime in a high-elevation forest of Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

Peter Z. Fulé, Joseph E. Crouse, Thomas A. Heinlein, Margaret M. Moore, W. Wallace Covington, G. Verkamp


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors reconstructed the spatial and temporal patterns of the fire regime on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park to assess how fire transitioned from surface to stand-replacing fire across aspect, elevation, and forest type.

Publication findings:

The authors found that currently the forest on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is dominated by dense stands of spruce-fir, mixed-conifer, and aspen. Historically, conditions would have been very open prior to fire exclusion. Fire-initiated tree groups were common at the project site, approximately 60% and likely originated after severe fires in the 1780s. They also found synchrony between fires during dry years as measured by the Palmer Drought Stress Index, with severe drought common in regional fire years.

Climate and Fire Linkages

The authors found synchrony between fires during dry years as measured by the Palmer Drought Stress Index, with severe drought common in regional fire years.

Fire and Ecosystem Effects Linkages

The authors found that currently the forest on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is dominated by dense stands of spruce-fir, mixed-conifer, and aspen. Historically, conditions would have been very open prior to fire exclusion. Fire-initiated tree groups were common at the project site, approximately 60% and likely originated after severe fires in the 1780s.

The authors found that currently the forest on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is dominated by dense stands of spruce-fir, mixed-conifer, and aspen. Historically, conditions would have been very open prior to fire exclusion.