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Fire and climate variation in western North America from fire-scar and tree-ring networks

Posted date: September 17, 2010
Publication Year: 
2010
Authors: Falk, Donald A.; Heyerdahl, Emily K.; Brown, P. M.; Swetnam, T. W.; Sutherland, Elaine K.; Gedalof, Z.; Yocom, L.; Brown, T. J.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: PAGES news. 18(2): 70-72.

Abstract

Fire regimes (i.e., the pattern, frequency and intensity of fire in a region) reflect a complex interplay of bottom-up and top-down controls (Lertzman et al., 1998; Mc Kenzie et al., in press). Bottom-up controls include local variations in topographic, fuel and weather factors at the time of a burn (e.g., fuel moisture and continuity, ignition density and local wind and humidity patterns). Bottom-up regulation is manifest as fine-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity in fire behavior and effects within landscapes subject to the same general climate. Examples include variation in fuel consumption, tree mortality and soil effects, which create complex burn severity legacies that can influence subsequent fires (Collins and Stephens, 2008; Scholl and Taylor, 2010).

Citation

Falk, Donald A.; Heyerdahl, E. K.; Brown, P. M.; Swetnam, T. W.; Sutherland, E. K.; Gedalof, Z.; Yocom, L.; Brown, T. J. 2010. Fire and climate variation in western North America from fire-scar and tree-ring networks. PAGES news. 18(2): 70-72.
National Strategic Program Areas: 
Wildland Fire and Fuels