Are historical fire regimes compatible with future climate? Implications for forest restoration: Research Brief

Are historical fire regimes compatible with future climate? Implications for forest restoration: Research Brief

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.

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Maximum Fire Elevation in the Sierra Nevada Has Increased Over the Past Century: Research Brief

Maximum Fire Elevation in the Sierra Nevada Has Increased Over the Past Century: Research Brief

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. 

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Photo courtesy of Sasha Berleman 

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Increasing Fire Activity for Arid California: Different Fire Trends from Different Fire Drivers: Research Brief

Increasing Fire Activity for Arid California: Different Fire Trends from Different Fire Drivers: Research Brief

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.

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

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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Influence of post-fire vegetation and fuels on fire severity patterns in reburns: Research Brief

Influence of post-fire vegetation and fuels on fire severity patterns in reburns: Research Brief

Results from a 2016 study by Coppoletta and others suggests that in areas where fire regimes and forest structure have been dramatically altered, contemporary fires have the potential to set forests on a positive feedback trajectory with successive reburns, one in which extensive stand-replacing fire could promote more stand-replacing fire.

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Predicting Future Fire Regimes: Still a Long Way to Go: Research Brief

Predicting Future Fire Regimes: Still a Long Way to Go: Research Brief

In a review article by Jon Keeley and Alex Syphard, examples from California show that fire regimes are sensitive to geographic and seasonal variation in the climate signal and that many factors will confound the ability to model future conditions.

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Proximate Causes of Abrupt Fire-Regime Changes: Research Brief

Proximate Causes of Abrupt Fire-Regime Changes: Research Brief

In many past and present ecosystems, changes in animal, plant, and human communities have been more influential in rapid local fire regime disruption than climate. The good news is that, unlike climate change, these direct, proximate community causes can be practically addressed by fire and resource managers.

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Resistance to invasives and altered fire regimes differs between cold and hot desert shrublands: USGS Research Brief

An article provides an overview of key factors, concepts and tools to understand the ecological resistance to biological invasion and resilience to fire of desert shrublands of North America. 
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Interactions among wildland fires in a long-established Sierra Nevada natural fire area: Research Brief

 A   2009  study  by  Collins  et  al.  suggests  that  freely   burning  fires  in  upper  elevation  mixed-­‐conifer   forests  of  the  Sierra  Nevada  may  effectively   regulate  fire-­‐induced  effects  across  an  entire   landscape.
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Human Influence on California Fire Regimes: USGS Research Brief

Researchers studied the human influence on fire regimes at the WUI using California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) data from a majority of counties in the state, coupled with associated housing and other human infrastructure data.
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Fire Suppression is Necessary in California Chaparral: Research Brief

It  is  concluded  that  there  is  a  wealth  of   information  on  factors  affecting  fire  size  in   southern  California  that  make  it  unnecessary  to   base  fire  management  in  the  region  on   questionable  comparisons  with  Baja  California. 
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Effects of invasive alien plants on fire regimes: USGS Research Brief

A recent publication in BioScience by USGS, in collaboration with other scientists from North America, Australia, and South Africa, presents a multi-phase model describing the interrelationships between plant invaders and fire regimes. 
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