Prescribed burning and the drought: go or no go? Research Brief

Prescribed burning and the drought: go or no go? Research Brief

Research Brief/Management Consideration. One topic that is generating a great deal of interest among fire management professionals as California enters the fall prescribed fire season is whether we should be burning during this fourth year of drought.  This brief discusses what managers should consider before doing a prescribed burn.

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Fire and fuel treatment effects on understory plant diversity in California mixed-conifer forests: Research Brief

Fire and fuel treatment effects on understory plant diversity in California mixed-conifer forests: Research Brief

The authors surveyed understory vegetation across a gradient of increasing canopy loss, ranging from unmanaged forest to fuel treatments, fuel treatments followed by low-moderate severity wildfire, and high-severity wildfire only.

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Trees already stressed by drought may be more likely to die from fire: USGS Research Brief

A study published in Ecology Letters suggests that the effects of drought and fire work in combination, such that forests experiencing drought will see more dead trees in the aftermath of wildfires.
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Structure, fuels and fire behavior in Sierran riparian and upland forest: past and present: Research Brief

Authors of this paper present quantitative information on the differences in stand structure, fuel loading,  and fire behavior in current and reconstructed riparian and upland areas in the Sierra Nevada.
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Seasonal variations in fuel moisture from thinning: Research Brief

The  objective  of  this  study  was  to investigate  the   influence  of  thinning  treatments  on  fuel  moisture and determine  whether  or  not  moisture patterns   differ by  treatment  in mixed conifer  stands  in   northern  California.
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Responses of animal abundance and diversity to forest thinning in North America: Research Brief

In a 2011 paper, researchers examined the short-term consequences of mechanical thinning for forest animal abundance and diversity by summarizing the results of 33 studies from throughout the continent.
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Pre-settlement and contemporary forest structures and fire regimes in the Lake Tahoe Basin: Research synthesis

Three complementary  studies  reviewed   here  examine  how  forest  structure  and  fire   regimes have  varied  spatially  and  temporally  in   the  Lake  Tahoe  Basin,  CA  and  NV. 

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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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Historical fire regimes: spatial patterns and controls: Research Brief

This  paper  offers  a  reconstruction  of  historic fire   regimes  and  forest  age  structures in  a  mixed-­‐ conifer  forest  in  the  Klamath  Mountains  of   northern  California,  demonstrating  the  historic   importance  of  temporal  and  spatial  controls  on   fire  in  the  area,  and  providing  critical context for   current  restoration  and  management  activities.
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High-severity wildfire effects on carbon stocks and emissions in fuels treated and untreated forest: Research Brief

North  and  Hurteau  (2011)  investigated  the  forest   carbon  tradeoffs  of  wildfire  in  treated  and   untreated  mixed-­‐conifer forests,  as  well  as  the   carbon  cost  of  implementing  fuels  reduction   treatments.
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Evaluating management risks to Southern Sierra fisher: Research synthesis  

Models  of  fisher habitat  selection  and   metapopulation  dynamics  in  the  southern   Sierra  Nevada  suggest  the  negative  effects   of  fuel  treatments  on  fisher  habitat   suitability  and  population  size  are   generally  smaller  than  the  long-­‐term   positive  effects  of  fuel  treatments that reduce  wildfire  risk  and  severity.
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Effects of thinning and prescribed fire on tree survival: Research Brief

A  wildfire  at  Blacks  Mountain  Experimental   Forest (BMEF) in  northern  California  provided  a rare  opportunity  to  compare fire  behavior  and   effects  in  treated  and  untreated  ponderosa  pine   forests. 
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Effects of sudden oak death on fuels and fire behavior: Research Brief

Sudden  oak   death (SOD),  a  forest  disease  caused  by  the   pathogen  Phytophthora  ramorum,  is  a  good   example  of  a  recently  introduced  disease  with   unknown  implications  for  forest  health  and  future   disturbances.  In  the  dry  tanoak  forests  of   northern  California,  the  potential  relationships between  SOD  and  fire  are of  particular  concern.
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Effects of fire on spotted owl occupancy in a late-successional forest: Research Brief

An increase in the frequency and spatial extent of stand-replacing fires in western North America has prompted concern for California spotted owls and other sensitive species associated with late-successional forests.
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Effects of conifer encroachment on fuels and fire in white oak woodlands: Research Brief

A century of fire exclusion in the western United States has altered oak woodland landscapes, resulting in severe compositional and structural changes that influence species diversity and distribution, fuel loading, and fire behavior and effects. 
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Ecology of mixed-severity fire regimes: Research Brief

This  review  paper  describes  geographical   variation  of  mixed  severity  fire  regimes  in  Pacific temperate  forests  and  summarizes  known   information about  fire  effects  and  ecology  in   relation  to  the  vegetation  types  characterized  by   such  regimes. 
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