Below is a list of
fire-aquatic management questions that we have put together with
input from field units. The purpose of these questions is to
identify the key aquatic questions that land managers have
associated with fire and related forest health activities (e.g.,
thinning and salvage) so that we can use them to 1) link existing
available science to specific questions, 2) show the linkage to the
R1/R4 Adaptive Fire Management Projects to alert managers to
developing science and expertise, and 3) provide the scientists with
a list to help them determine research needs and priorities.
Management & Riparian Systems:
What are the direct and
indirect effects of fire suppression activities on riparian ecosystem processes?
Has fire suppression and management substantially
altered the character and function of riparian forests?
How are riparian systems affected by wildfire,
particularly where fire has been excluded (i.e., by fire suppression)?
Can we mimic or substitute one disturbance
(management) for another (natural fire) and what are the similarities and
dissimilarities between the results of management and fire as they relate to
watershed and ecological processes?
What affect, if any, does management of riparian
buffers (e.g., thinning, prescribed burning) have on aquatic habitat (e.g.,
water temperature) and associated aquatic organisms?
Can management (e.g., thinning, prescribed burning) of
riparian buffers improve their function and the benefits for aquatic habitats?
Fire & Watershed Processes:
How do aquatic habitats and associated organisms respond to disturbance by natural or uncharacteristic fire in terms of structure, character, and successional pattern, and how does fire extent and intensity, as well as pre-fire condition, influence these responses?
Does restoration of the structure and composition of upland forests predictably influence watershed processes?
How do natural or uncharacteristic fires affect the dominant processes that influence soil erosion and soil productivity?
Fire & Aquatic Population Response:
ecological context (e.g., isolation, size and geometry of habitats, community
structure) influence the response (e.g., resilience) of populations influenced
by large fires and related disturbances?
What roles do life history expression and local
refugia play in the resilience of populations?
Do “uncharacteristic” fires threaten aquatic
ecosystems in ways that they did not in the past?
Does fire favor non-native fish through changes in
habitat or displacement of native fishes?