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Historical fire regime and forest variability on two eastern Great Basin fire-sheds (USA)

Posted date: September 12, 2012
Publication Year: 
2012
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 285: 53-66.

Abstract

Proper management of naturally forested landscapes requires knowledge of key disturbance processes and their effects on species composition and structure. Spatially-intensive fire and forest histories provide valuable information about how fire and vegetation may vary and interact on heterogeneous landscapes. I constructed 800-year fire and tree recruitment chronologies for two eastern Great Basin fire-sheds using fire-scar and tree establishment evidence from 48 gridded plots (500 m spacing) and from fire-scarred trees between plots. Fire-sheds are located in the Snake Range of eastern Nevada (BMC) and Wah Wah Range of western Utah (LAW) and span a range in elevation and vegetation zones typical for the region. Estimates of point mean fire interval varied more than 10-fold at both BMC (7.8-125.6 years) and LAW (13.3-138.4 years). At BMC, a distinct within-fire-shed contrast in fire frequency was difficult to explain without invoking the possibility of spatially-variable human-caused ignitions. A majority of fires were small (

Citation

Kitchen, Stanley G. 2012. Historical fire regime and forest variability on two eastern Great Basin fire-sheds (USA). Forest Ecology and Management. 285: 53-66.