Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications
RMRS Online Publication
RMRS-GTR-42, vol. 1: Wildland fire in ecosystems: effects of fire on fauna
Smith, Jane Kapler, ed. 2000. Wildland fire in ecosystems: effects of fire on fauna. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 1. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 83 p.
Fires affect animals mainly through effects on their habitat. Fires often cause short-term increases in wildlife foods that contribute to increases in populations of some animals. These increases are moderated by the animals' ability to thrive in the altered, often simplified, structure of the postfire environment. The extent of fire effects on animal communities generally depends on the extent of change in habitat structure and species composition caused by fire. Stand-replacement fires usually cause greater changes in the faunal communities of forests than in those of grasslands. Within forests, stand-replacement fires usually alter the animal community more dramatically than understory fires. Animal species are adapted to survive the pattern of fire frequency, season, size, severity, and uniformity that characterized their habitat in presettlement times. When fire frequency increases or decreases substantially or fire severity changes from presettlement patterns, habitat for many animal species declines.
Keywords: fire effects, fire management, fire regime, habitat, succession, wildlife
About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help or order a printed copy of this publication.
Download RMRS-GTR-42, Vol. 1
PDF File Size: 1.3 MB
vol. 1: Wildland fire in ecosystems: effects of fire on fauna
Publish Date: December 20, 1999
Last Update: February 22, 2006
RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us