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|Composite fire interval for Limestone Flats, Long Valley Experimental Forest, Arizona. Time span: 110 years; fire years: 51; composite fire interval: 1.8 years .|
|Severity class||Replacement of upper canopy layer|
|No fire effects||<5%|
|Low (previously called “surface”)||6%-25%|
A qualitative description of the distribution of fuels both horizontally and vertically. Continuous fuels readily support fire spread. The larger the fuel discontinuity, the greater the fire intensity required for fire spread .
The weight per unit area of fuel, often expressed in tons/acre or tonnes/hectare. Dead woody fuel loadings are commonly described for small material in diameter classes of 0 to 1/4, 1/4 to 1, and 1 to 3 inches and for large material in one class greater than 3 inches .
Expressed as a percent or fraction of oven-dry fuel weight. It is the most important fuel property controlling flammability. In living plants it is fluctuations vary considerably by species but are usually above 80% to 100%. As plants mature, moisture content decreases. When herbaceous plants cure, their moisture content responds as dead fuel moisture content, which fluctuates according to changes in temperature, humidity, and precipitation .
Cutting and removing an entire upper portion of a tree consisting of trunk, branches, and leaves or needles .
The sexual stage in the life cycle plants, when the chromosomes in each cell are reduced to half the usual number, typically diploid (2n) reduced to haploid (1n) (compare sporophyte) [47,53].
Pollination between flowers on the same plant .
A cell or cluster of often bud-like cells, borne on the gametophyte, that can reproduce the plant vegetatively. Plural: gemmae .
A unit or group derived by asexual regeneration from a single original zygote; a clone .
The hereditary or genetic constitution of an individual; all the genetic material of a cell (usually only nuclear material); all the individuals sharing the same genetic constitution .
Plant with perennating tissue below the soil surface; may possesses tuberous underground stems filled with stored food (e.g., bulb, corm, rhizome, stem tuber) or sprout from root tissue .
The response of plants in either growth or position to the pull of gravity. Geotrophic response is positive when the response is towards the earth's center of gravity (e.g., early root growth) and negative when away from it (e.g., early stem growth) .
One of the pair of bracts at the base of a spikelet in Poaceae, or the single bract suntending the flower in Cyperaceae .
A grass or grasslike monocot; includes the grass (Poaceae), sedge (Cyperaceae), rush (Juncaceae), cattail (Typhaceae), and arrowgrass (Juncaginaceae) families [53,66].
An altered fire regime that may result when nonnative invasive grass species dominate the herbaceous layer in a plant community. The process occurs in this way: the nonnative grass colonizes an area and provides a continuous fine fuel that is readily ignited and facilitates fire spread. Larger and possibly more severe fires then occur more frequently in the invaded area than in similar, uninvaded communities. Following these grass-fueled fires, nonnative grasses typically recover more rapidly than native species, further increasing the probability of fire and the possibility of greater fire size and severity and decline of native species (adapted from ; also see .
A formation dominated by grasses (>25% cover), with shrubs and trees constituting <25% of total cover . Compare with shrubland, woodland, forest.
Carrying eggs or young .
A long, narrow band of fire-retardant vegetation that is created by seeding .
Fire that burns in the organic material below the litter layer, mostly by smoldering combustion. Fires in duff, peat, dry or dead moss and lichens, and/or punky wood are typically ground fires .
ground residual colonizer:
A plant species that establishes after a disturbance such as fire from soil-stored seed that was already on site prior to the disturbance .
Plant species with female and perfect flowers on separate plants .
Plant species with female and perfect flowers on the same plant .
A land or aquatic unit capable of producing similar plant communities . It describes areas in which similar environmental conditions allow succession to proceed toward the same climax association. Seral species may dominate such areas, but the habitat types are named for the climax species . Contrast with cover type.
1) In the southern United States, especially Florida, a tract of hardwood forest that rises above an adjacent marsh.
2) A ridge or hill of ice or an ice field .
The collective genotype of a number of closely linked loci; the constellation of alleles present at a particular region of a chromosome .
1) Angiosperm trees or
2) the xylem of angiosperm trees.
The wood of hardwood trees may be physically hard (high specific gravity) or soft (low specific gravity) .
A fire spreading or set to spread with the wind .
Species within the plant families Ericaceae, Empetraceae, and/or Diapensiaceae. A heathland is dominated by species in those families .
Freshwater plant with perennating tissue in water or saturated soil beneath water .
Herbaceous perennial or biennial plant with perennating tissue at the soil surface .
A nonwoody, vascular plant such as a graminoid, forb, or fern .
A class of vegetation dominated by nonwoody plants (herbs). Herbs generally have at least 25% cover, while shrubs and trees have <25% cover .
Having both male and female reproductive organs in the same individual . For plants, also see perfect.
A shelter in which animal(s) hibernate or overwinter [7,76].
The act or condition of passing the winter in a dormant state characterized by a slowing of metabolic processes that is more dramatic than torpor; typically involving the abandonment of thermal homeostasis in mammals [37,76,80]. Compare to aestivation.
May refer to either high soil burn severity, high vegetation burn severity, or replacement-severity fire. As used in LANDFIRE, refers only to replacement-severity fires, which kill or top-kill more than 75% of the upper canopy layer . Also see discussion of fire severity.
historical fire regime:
See fire regime.
The current geological epoch, which spans about 10,000 years before present (BP) to the present. Also known as the Postglacial, it was preceded by the Pleistocene .
Having pistils and stamens that mature at the same time .
A group of morphologically distinctive individuals that results from the creation of hybrids between 2 parent species, then the backcrossing of the offspring to members of the parent species and the interbreeding among the hybrid individuals .
The frequency and duration of inundation or saturation of an ecosystem. In the context of characterizing wetlands, the term describes that length of time during the year that the substrate is either saturated or covered with water.
Freshwater plant with perennating tissue below the surface of the water; vegetative shoots are submerged and leaves are submerged or floating; only flowers rise above the water surface .
A cup-shaped extension of the floral axis, usually formed from the union of the basal parts of the calyx, corolla, and stamens, commonly surrounding or enclosing the pistils. Plural: hypanthia .
The portion of the embryonic shoot below the cotyledon and above the radicle .
A mode of seed germination in which the cotyledons remain below ground .
A flower having either pistils or stamens, but not both; unisexual .
A measure of overall importance of a given species in a community . Definitions are inconsistent. Importance value is often calculated as the sum of relative frequency, relative density, and relative dominance, where relative dominance is synonymous with relative basal area [43,76] or some similar measure [5,85]. When importance value is defined otherwise, FEIS defines the term as used by the author cited.
Not opening at maturity .
Inflorescence in which the outer or lower flowers open first .
Product of the relative abundance and relative frequency of occurrence for a species in group samples .
inhibition model of succession:
The hindrance of subsequent species colonization or suppression of growth of species already present due to establishment of earlier colonists; opposite of the facilitation model of succession .
initial off-site colonizer:
A plant species that establishes in early succession from seed dispersed onto the disturbed site .
The negative effect of one organism upon another, regardless of the presence of a limiting resource. Competition is one facet of interference; allelopathy is another [14,45]. Note, however, that use of this term in the ecological literature is inconsistent; Harper , Hall , and Radosevich et al.  use "interference" to refer to both positive and negative interactions between organisms.
The spread of genes of one species into the gene pool of another by hybridization and backcrossing .
Susceptibility of a plant community to invasion .
A species that can establish, persist, and spread in an area [78,115]. In addition, the species must cause, or have potential to cause, harm; in natural areas, "harm" usually occurs in the form of significant changes in ecosystem composition, structure, or function . Randall  states this idea pragmatically: A plant species must interfere with management goals to be considered invasive. A nonnative species is not invasive simply because it is present in a wildland ecosystem; it must also have impacts on the ecosystem that interfere with attainment of management objectives. Fire-related impacts of invasive plants may include changes in the species composition or structure of postfire plant communities, especially when these changes occur at the expense of native species, and changes in fuel properties that alter fire behavior or fire regimes.
A whorl of bracts below an inflorescence or cone [5,53].
An irregular, periodic migration where large parts of a population leave their home region and move into unusual areas for a season (that is a “bursting in”, immigration, or invasion into other regions). It may be triggered by high population densities, food shortages, or both. An irruption differs from true migration because it is irregular and does not necessarily have a return movement matching the outward movement (also see eruption) .
The appearance of the chromosomal makeup of a somatic cell in an individual or species, including the number and arrangement and size and structure of the chromosomes .
Kuchler potential natural vegetation (Kuchler plant associations):
A vegetation classification system of the conterminous United States that groups vegetation into physiognomic units based on potential natural vegetation [67,70].
Shrubs and young trees that provide continuous fine material from the forest floor into the crowns of dominant trees .
An annual ring of secondary xylem formed late in the growing season, with relatively smaller, thicker, denser, and darker cells than cells formed early in the growing season .
A form of vegetative reproduction in which an intact branch develops roots as the result of contact with soil or other media .
leaf area index (LAI):
Ratio of total leaf area (one side of leaf only) to total ground surface, a unitless measure .
A climbing woody plant .
A woody storage structure forming a swelling, more or less at ground level, from which dormant buds can develop . Functionally and ecologically similar to burls that occur at ground level of some woody species .
Recently fallen plant material, including leaves, needles, fine twigs, and other organic material on the forest floor, that is only partially decomposed and is still discernible [76,116]. Also see duff.
The position of a given gene on a chromosome. Plural: loci .
A permanent disconnection of the stem from its upright position .
Effects lasting more than 10 years (personal communication 21 October 1998 with Wendell Hann, Fire Ecologist and assistant to National Fuels Specialist, USDA Forest Service).
A fire that has little effect on soil heating or on vegetation, especially the overstory vegetation . As used in LANDFIRE, a low-severity fire is a surface fire that replaces less than 26% of the upper canopy layer, thus maintaining the site in a given successional stage . Similar to understory fire, but can refer to grasslands and shrublands as well as forests and woodlands. See discussion of fire severity.
low-severity fire regime:
General pattern in which most fires are of low severity and do not substantially change the aboveground vegetation structure. Similar to understory fire regime.
Containing or relating to a group of dark-colored minerals, composed predominantly of the ferromagnesium rock-forming silicates, such as olivine and pyroxene .
A low-lying wetland that has shallow water; water levels that fluctuate daily, seasonally, or annually due to tides, flooding, evapotranspiration, groundwater recharge, and/or seepage losses; is vegetated with monocots; and does not accumulate appreciable peat deposits. Marshes often form a transitional zone between water and land [91,134].
1) Exceptionally high seed production .
2) Seeds of all plants used by wildlife, including seeds with fleshy exteriors (such as berries) and seeds with dry or hard exteriors (such as nuts and cones). Collectively, the fruit of masting species .
mean fire-free interval:
See mean fire interval.
mean fire interval:
Average of all fire intervals determined, in years, for a specified area during a specified time period. The size of the area and the time period must be given . Mean fire intervals are usually composite fire intervals but may be point fire intervals.
mean fire-return interval:
See mean fire interval.
A group of plant cells that divides indefinitely, producing new growth. It occurs at the growing tip of roots or stems (apical meristem), in cambium (lateral meristem), and in the stems and leaves of graminoids (intercalary meristem) .
1) Pertaining to conditions of moderate moisture or water supply .
2) One of six soil temperature regimes.
A population structure in which individual populations exist on patches that are dynamic in space and time . These individual or subpopulations are connected by pathways of immigration and emigration, and exchange of individuals occurs between subpopulations. Emigrating individuals are able to colonize currently unoccupied patches of suitable habitat, including previously occupied patches from which the species has recently become extinct .
Developmental stage of plant in which seeds are well formed but soft and immature; precedes dough stage .
A site with high dissolved mineral content, with the nutrients intruded from groundwater flow in addition to precipitation. Compare with ombotrophic .
A bog or fen; also referred to as a carr .
A fire that exhibits a wide range of fire severity as a result of surface fire in some patches, burning others with stand-replacement severity, and thinning the overstory in other patches. An equal proportion of low-, moderate-, and high-severity burning clearly fits into the mixed-severity fire class, but there is currently no standard by which to define what mix of fire severities should be classified as a mixed-severity fire . As used in LANDFIRE, mixed-severity fire refers to fires that cause partial replacement of the upper canopy layer (26%-75%) . According to this definition, mixed-severity fire is not the same as mosaic fire (http://www.landfire.gov/veg_notification1.php). However, it has occasionally been used with that meaning. See fire severity.
mixed-severity fire regime:
General pattern in which fires tend to be of mixed severity, cause selective mortality in the upper canopy layer (depending on different species’ susceptibility to fire), or vary in time or space between low-severity and stand-replacement . Note that mixed-severity fire regime has a broader definition than mixed-severity fire and may include a general pattern of mosaic fires or of fires with varying severities over time.
Vertical distance between the ground and the altitude to which pollutants are mixed by turbulence caused by convective currents or vertical shear in the horizontal wind .
Fire that causes moderate soil heating. Occurs where litter is consumed and duff is charred or consumed, but the underlying mineral soil is not visibly altered [90,143]. Although thresholds are subjective, fire that kills from 30% to 70% of the upper canopy layer is generally considered moderate severity .
moisture control section (soil):
The moisture control section depends on particle-size class of the soil: It extends approximately from (1) 10 to 30 cm below the soil surface in fine-loamy, coarse-silty, fine-silty, or clayey soils; (2) 20 to 60 cm in coarse-loamy soils; and (3) 30 to 90 cm in sandy soils. The limits are deeper in soils with rock fragments that do not absorb and release water .
Flowering and bearing fruit only once and then dying; term can apply to annuals, biennials, or perennials .
Male and female flowers borne on the same plant .
Having one reproductive cycle or breeding period per year .
Having branches arise from a single main axis .
A fire that produces patches of burned and unburned vegetation across the landscape (http://www.landfire.gov/veg_notification1.php). Note that mixed-severity fire has been used in the past to describe mosaic fires . See fire severity.
A swamp or bog formed by an accumulation of Sphagnum moss, leaves, and decayed matter that resembles peat. Prevalent in Alaska and Canada; part of the North American boreal forest biome .
An interdependent relationship in which both organisms benefit; frequently a relationship of complete dependence .
Ecosystems, plant communities, or processes that still function as they did in pre-Columbian times .
natural fire rotation:
See fire rotation.
Living in a nest; also used of young animals, especially birds, that remain in the nest for a prolonged period .
An introduced species that evolved elsewhere and has been transported and purposefully or accidentally disseminated by humans .
In FEIS, seeds that germinate in the absence of fire-related stimuli; seeds may germinate readily upon wetting or they may have a dormancy that is overcome by some factor unrelated to fire .
Fourth stage of forest stand development following major disturbance, as described by Oliver . In this stage, stems in the overstory gradually die out and stems in the understory slowly replace them. Also see stand initiation stage, stem exclusion stage, and understory reinitiation stage.
1) An organism that is tolerant of only a moderate range of salinities.
2) Brackish water with a salinity from 0.3 to 3.0 parts per thousand, or sea water with a salinity from 17 to 30 parts per thousand .
A lake or other body of water with extremely low dissolved mineral content, resulting in very moderate productivity .
A site with low dissolved mineral content, with the nutrients coming exclusively from precipitation. Compare with minerotrophic .
The growth and physical development of an individual .
Deep layers of organic matter that develop in poorly drained areas such as bogs, swamps, and marshes .
An orientation or growth response in a straight line. Also see phagiotrophic .
Producing fully formed eggs that are retained and hatched inside the maternal body, with the release of live offspring .
The process of bog formation resulting from the gradual rising of the water table as accumulation of peat impedes water drainage .
The modified calyx of the Asteraceae, consisting of awns, scales, or bristles at the apex of the achene .
The act of giving birth .
passive crown fire:
A type of crown fire in which the crowns of individual trees or small groups of trees burn, but solid flaming in the canopy cannot be maintained except for short periods. Passive crown fire encompasses a wide range of crown fire behavior, from occasional torching of isolated trees to nearly active crown fire. Passive crown fire is also called torching or candling. A fire in the crowns of the trees in which trees or groups of trees torch, ignited by the passing front of the fire. The torching trees reinforce the spread rate, but these fires are not basically different from surface fires . Also see active crown fire.
Organic soil material formed by partial decomposition of plants, especially Sphagnum spp. mosses, in water [91,120].
An ecosystem in which organic matter is produced faster than it decomposes, resulting in an accumulation of partially decomposed vegetative matter . To distinguish between peatlands and peaty mineral soils, minimum depths of organic deposits are sometimes set at 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm) in the United States ; in Canada, the minimum depth of organic deposits required for classification as peatland is 16 inches (40 cm) .
1) Permanently frozen material underlying the solum.
2) A perennially frozen soil horizon .
Flowers or cones with both male and female reproductive organs; can also be called bisexual or hermaphroditic .
The fruit wall, often with 3 distinct layers: endocarp, mesocarp, and outer exocarp  (see fruit for a diagram of these layers).
A scale-like bract enclosing the pistil in Carex .
Woody plant with perennating tissue more than 10 inches (25 cm) above the soil surface .
A category that provides functional or technical detail at any level (formation, subformation, series, and association) of the vegetation classification system hierarchy .
The study of the relationship between weather and climate and the timing of periodic natural phenomena such as bud bursting and flowering of plants or migration of birds .
The sum total of observable structural and functional properties of an organism; the product of the interaction between the genotype and the environment [41,76].
The capacity for marked variation in the phenotype as a result of environmental influences on the genotype during development .
Exhibiting a tendency to remain in the native locality. Used of species or groups that show little capacity to spread or disperse and of individuals that tend to remain in, or return to, their home areas or domiciles .
A plant that absorbs water from the permanent water table .
An orientation or growth response at an oblique angle to the vertical. Also see orthotrophic. .
Pleistocene (Ice Age):
The geological epoch that preceded the current epoch (the Holocene). The Pleistocene spanned about 18,000 to 10,000 years before present (BP). It was an epoch when the earth entered its most recent phase of widespread glaciation .
The number of sets of chromosomes in a cell or an organism. Haploid is having one chromosome set, or one copy of each chromosome per cell. Diploid is having two sets of chromosomes, usually with a set of chromosomes from each parent. Polyploidy is having three or more sets of chromosomes. There are many types or variations of polyploidy. For example, triploid is having three times the haploid number of chromosomes; tetraploid is having four times the haploid number of chromosomes. Polyploidy is common in plants [74,141].
point fire interval:
A composite fire interval over a relatively small area. The “point” may be a single tree or a small area (e.g., 1 or 2 ha). Agee  stated that “Although a tree is the best ‘point’ on the landscape, it is usually not the best sample unit to use to derive a ‘point estimate’ of fire. Usually the combination of cross-dated records from two or more closely spaced trees are used. Each sample tree is itself a point sample, and as the number of trees whose records are combined grows, two things usually happen: the fire record becomes more complete, so that the fire interval becomes shorter; and the point frequency tends to become an area frequency (i.e., composite fire interval) as the area over which records are combined expands” . Because a fire can burn through a small area without scarring any trees, the point fire interval may underestimate fire frequency [99,128]. Also see fire interval and composite fire interval.
Masses of waxy pollen grains transported as a unit in many orchids (Orchidaceae) and milkweeds (Asclepiadaceae). Milkweed pollinia are joined by a corpusculum .
Producing flowers or spores more than once during a life cycle .
A plant that is mostly dioecious but with some perfect flowers .
A plant that is mostly monoecious but with some perfect flowers .
A mating system in which each adult may mate with more than one member of the opposite sex .
A mating system in which males mate with a large number of females and father a large number of offspring .
Having three or more complete sets of chromosomes in each cell .
Having more than one breeding period per year .
Any indicator of the size of a population (e.g., mountain bluebird nests/km²) .
potential natural vegetation:
The vegetation that would occur on a given site if disturbance by humans was excluded. It is a reflection of the environmental setting, or the biological potential of a land area to support a specific vegetation type within the constraints of the nonanthropogenic disturbance regime of that site ([9,69], Tüxen 1956 as cited by ).
potential natural vegetation group (PNVG):
A grouping of ecologically similar vegetation types that are likely to exist under the natural range of variability in biophysical environments and ecological processes, including fire and other disturbances . These groups are modeled with disturbance inputs (fire, insect and disease mortality, grazing, and drought) that are characteristic of the group and used for Fire Regime Condition Class assessments .
Offspring that exhibit a high degree of independent activity at hatching or birth (also see altricial) .
See prescribed fire.
Any fire intentionally ignited by management in accordance with applicable laws, policies, and regulations to meet specific objectives. Also called a controlled burn or prescribed burn [89,142]. An escaped prescribed fire is considered a wildfire .
prescribed natural fire:
Naturally ignited wildland fire that burns under specified conditions where the fire is confined to a predetermined area and produces the fire behavior and fire characteristics required to attain planned fire treatment and resource management objectives . This term was not in official use as of 2010. See use of wildland fire.
A constancy class derived from samples of indefinite area . FEIS usually cites the original author's definition when this term is used.
presettlement fire regime:
As generally used, the characteristic fire regime prior to the mid- to late 1800s, before extensive settlement by European Americans in most parts of North America, before extensive conversion of wildlands for agricultural and other purposes, and before fires were effectively suppressed and excluded from many areas . However, many authors assign less precise or different meanings to this term. FEIS generally uses the definition given here for presettlement fire regime and related terms (e.g., historical fire regime, reference fire regime).
Mating system by which anthers release pollen before the stigma is receptive .
1) Mating system by which the stigma is receptive before the release of pollen .
2) A plant with perfect flowers that assumes a functional female condition before changing to a functional male state .
Cacti spines that radiate from the margins of the areole .
The embryonic root.
A member or unit of a clone, which may follow an independent existence if separated from the parent .
A rating of rangeland condition based on total percentage of native "climax" vegetation within a given habitat type. This approach assumes that climax vegetation can be determined for the habitat type [35,36].
|Rangeland condition class||Percent of climax vegetation|
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