Future climate-induced shifts in fire regimes and plant distributions could uncouple vegetation from the fire regimes for which they are adapted. The brief discusses changes to fire-adapted plant communities under modeled climate change scenarios and their implications on the Kaibab Plateau landscape.Read More
Using a geodatabase, researchers found that the maximum elevation extent of wildfires and the probability of wildfire occurrence above 3000 m have increased over the last century in the Sierra Nevada. This trend may accelerate vegetation shifts towards upper montane forest types in current subalpine systems.
Photo courtesy of Sasha BerlemanRead More
For desert shrubland species that have evolved without fire, the introduction of a grass-fire, positive feedback cycle is particularly problematic. This brief discusses work done by researchers who modeled the grass-fire cycle for non-fire-adapted desert shrublands under three sets of climate conditions.Read More
Fire is a strong driver of changes in montane forest structure in California’s Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade mountain ranges, which provide much of the snowpack and associated water storage for the state of California. This paper investigates how fire can influence snowpack and water storage.Read More
This research brief looks at changes in land cover, water, and forest health within the Illilouette Creek Basin in Yosemite National Park. This basin has a unique fire management history, with most areas burned in the last 40 years. Results suggest that fire has had a positive influence on a number of the Basin's ecosystem functions.Read More
Both Southern France and California have large amounts of housing in the Wildland Urban Interface where local vegetation is highly dense and fire adapted. This research brief compares the land use policies used to reduce the exposure of homes to wildfire in these two locations.Read More
Study results from arid regions in Southern California show how fire trends differ based on unique sets of circumstances. This brief discuses how combinations of direct drivers (like powerline and roadside ignitions), indirect drivers (like invasive grasses, air pollution, and landscape fragmentation terrestrial intactness) and unknown factors cause diversity in fire trends.Read More
Wildland firefighters suppressing wildland fires or conducting prescribed fires work long shifts and are exposed to high levels of smoke with no respiratory protection. This research measures firefighter exposure to smoke and pollutants and offers way to reduce this exposure.Read More
In an era of concern over climate change, it's important to understand how different kinds of fire-adapted of ecosystems in California may respond to climate change in relation to fire. This study categorized Californian ecosystems into three types and discusses how each may be affected by climate change and fire.Read More
The design and materials used in construction is critical to preventing structure loss during wildland urban interface (WUI) fires. This research helps planners and homeowners by ranking specific construction materials by fire safety effectiveness, then comparing their use to landscape-scale design attributes.Read More
Overall, the results of this study add support to the existing theory that diverse fire increases biodiversity in certain ecosystems. Specifically, this study showed that higher diversity of fire severity patterns within a fire lead to more bird diversity, especially in the fire prone semi-arid forests of the Sierra Nevada.
Photo: Nine years after the Moonlight fire in Plumas county, California, the landscape shows remarkable resilience with a diversity of habitat structure and birds. Photo courtesy Morgan Tingley.Read More
Five different Mediterranean Type Ecosystems (MTEs) around the world have evolutionarily converged in function with analogous vegetation types. With gorgeous photographic samplers to illustrate each type, we learn why these fire-adapted systems host more biodiversity than every other terrestrial ecosystem outside of the wet tropics.Read More
Because the evidence for fire as an evolutionary force is so overwhelming, Pausas et al. (2016) conveniently organized fire-adapted plant species into three syndromes for better management. The resulting Non-Fast-Hot syndrome scheme shows how different plant species likely evolved to either resist or use three dimensions of flammability (ignitability, fire spread rate, and heat release) for higher fitness.Read More