2 New Research Briefs from our Sierra Nevada Region

Old-forest Species Threatened by Megafires: Research Brief

The King Fire burned through an area used for a long-term (23 years) demography study of spotted owls in the central Sierra Nevada, allowing the authors to compare the number and distribution of owls both before and one year after the fire. 

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Jones, G. M., Gutiérrez, R. J., Tempel, D. J., Whitmore, S. A., Berigan, W. J., & Peery, M. Z.  2016.  Megafires: an emerging threat to old‐forest species.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14(6): 300-306. DOI: 10.1002/fee.1298


Increased fire area and severity in the Sierra Nevada warrant fuels reductions and wildland fire use

The authors assessed relative and absolute changes in wildfire area and severity in seven forest types arrayed along an elevational gradient in the Sierra Nevada and adjacent forested mountains. Findings suggest that there is a major fire “deficit” in the greater Sierra Nevada Region, across all major forest types. However, the nature of this deficit differs among forest types.

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Mallek, C., Safford, H., Viers, J., and J. Miller. 2013. Modern departures in fire severity and area vary by forest type, Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades, California, USA. Ecosphere 4(12): 153. DOI: 10.1890/ES13-00217.1