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Understanding the effects of fire management practices on forest health: implications for weeds and vegetation structure

Posted date: May 03, 2013
Publication Year: 
2012
Publication Series: 
General Technical Report (GTR)
Source: In: Potter, Kevin M.; Conkling, Barbara L., eds. 2012. Forest health monitoring: 2009 national technical report. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-167. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 203-210.
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

Current fire policy to restore ecosystem function and resiliency and reduce buildup of hazardous fuels implies a larger future role for fire (both natural and human ignitions) (USDA Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior 2000). Yet some fire management (such as building fire line, spike camps, or helispots) potentially causes both short- and longterm impacts to forest health. In the short run, these practices may increase soil disturbance, thereby promoting post-fire weed establishment (Keeley 2005, Merriam and others 2006). Fire management practices also may initiate longterm changes to aspects of landscape structure (such as patch connectivity, size, and shape) that may exacerbate future fire, insect, or disease risk, or jeopardize wildlife habitat (Backer and others 2004). Quantification of these effects can provide important information to guide fire strategy, tactics, and restoration decision-making (Sugihara and others 2006).

Citation

Black, Anne E.; Landres, Peter. 2012. Understanding the effects of fire management practices on forest health: implications for weeds and vegetation structure. In: Potter, Kevin M.; Conkling, Barbara L., eds. 2012. Forest health monitoring: 2009 national technical report. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-167. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 203-210.