Contact Information
  • Ecoregions
  • Robert G. Bailey
  • Rocky Mountain Research Station
  • 240 W Prospect Rd
  • Fort Collins, CO 80526 USA
  • (970) 498-2617
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Government Reports

Bailey, Robert G. Fire regimes and ecoregions. 2010. In: Elliot, William J.; Miller, Ina Sue; Audin, Lisa, eds. Cumulative watershed effects of fuel management in the western United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-231. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 7-18.

The majority of American forest and grassland ecosystems are adapted to fire of varying frequencies and magnitudes.  Fire is critical in maintaining ecological processes and biodiversity.  Fire-excluded systems are prone to changes in composition and density, and are susceptible to catastrophic fire and invasion by non-native species.  The cause of the problem in many areas includes more than a century of fire prevention and suppression along with increased human development at the wildland-urban interface.  To correct this problem, planning for fire and land management policies must incorporate an improved understanding of fire regimes.  This paper discusses fire regimes of different ecosystems at the scale of ecoregion, and goes on to explore how understanding fire regimes can abate the threat of fire exclusion and restore fire-adapted ecosystems.

Bailey, Robert G. Research applications of ecosystem patterns. 2009. In: McRoberts, Ronald E.; Reams, Gregory A.; Van Deusen, Paul C.; McWilliams, William H., eds. Proceedings of the eighth annual forest inventory and analysis symposium; 2006 October 16-19; Monterey, CA. Gen. Tech. Report WO-79. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 83-90.

This article discusses the origins of natural ecosystem patterns from global to local scales. It describes how understanding these patterns can help scientists and managers in two ways. First, the local systems are shown within the context of larger systems. This perspective can be applied in assessing the connections between action at one scale and effect at another, the spatial transferability of models, and the links between terrestrial and aquatic systems. Second, scientists and managers can benefit because they are given information about the geographic patterns in ecosystems. Consequently, they are in a better position to design sampling networks, transfer knowledge, and analyze ecosystem diversity. The usefulness of multi-scale analysis of ecosystem patterns suggests new scientific directions for research and points the way for restructuring the Forest Service research programs.