Penelope Morgan

Contact Info


Department of Forest Resources
University of Idaho
Moscow , ID 83844-1133 , United States

Publications in Fire Ecology

The Relationship of Multispectral Satellite Imagery to Immediate Fire Effects
Pages: 64-90
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301064

The Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) and the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Data Center produce Burned Area Reflectance Classification (BARC) maps for use by Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams in rapid response to wildfires. BAER teams desire maps indicative of fire effects on soils, but green and nonphotosynthetic vegetation and other materials also affect the spectral properties of post-fire imagery.  [Read More]

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Post-Fire Burn Severity and Vegetation Response Following Eight Large Wildfires Across the Western United States
Pages: 91-108
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301091

Vegetation response and burn severity were examined following eight large wildfires that burned in 2003 and 2004: two wildfires in California chaparral, two each in dry and moist mixed-conifer forests in Montana, and two in boreal forests in interior Alaska. Our research objectives were: 1) to characterize one year post-fire vegetation recovery relative to initial fire effects on the soil surface that could potentially serve as indicators of vegetation response (and thus, ultimately longerterm post-fire ecosystem recovery), and 2) to use a remotely-sensed indicator of burn severity to describe landscape patterns in fire effects.  [Read More]

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Mapping Ground Cover Using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing After the 2003 Simi and Old Wildfires in Southern California
Pages: 109-127
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301109

Wildfire effects on the ground surface are indicative of the potential for post-fire watershed erosion response. Areas with remaining organic ground cover will likely experience less erosion than areas of complete ground cover combustion or exposed mineral soil. The Simi and Old fires burned ~67,000 ha in southern California in 2003. Burn severity indices calculated from pre- and postfire multispectral imagery were differenced (i.e., differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR)) to highlight fire-induced changes to soil and vegetation.  [Read More]

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Effects of Multiple Wildland Fires on Ponderosa Pine Stand Structure in Two Southwestern Wilderness Areas, USA
Pages: 18-33
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0302018

The effects of 30 years (1972-2003) of Wildland Fire Use for Resource Benefit (WFU) fires on ponderosa pine forest stand structure were evaluated in the Gila Wilderness, New Mexico, and the Saguaro Wilderness, Arizona. Tree density, diameter-class distributions, basal area, and stand density index were compared among areas that burned with different frequencies since 1972 and areas that burned mid-century (1940-1950) and again during the WFU era (1972-2003).  [Read More]

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Burn Severity of Areas Reburned by Wildfires in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico, USA
Pages: 77-85
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0603077

We describe satellite-inferred burn severity patterns of areas that were burned and then reburned by wildland fire from 1984 to 2004 within the Gila Aldo Leopold Wilderness Complex, New Mexico, USA. Thirteen fires have burned 27 000 hectares across multiple vegetation types at intervals between fires ranging from 3 yr to 14 yr. Burn severity of reburned areas showed sensitivity to the severity of the initial fire. The severity of reburned areas also varied by vegetation type and time elapsed between fires. Initial fires that burned at low severity tended to reburn at low severity, while reburned areas where initial fire was severe showed higher probability of reburning at high severity. Our analysis also suggests that there may be thresholds in the severity of an initial burn above which the severity of the subsequent fire is likely to increase.  [Read More]

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Northern Rockies Pyrogeography: An Example of Fire Atlas Utility
Pages: 14-30
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1001014

We demonstrated the utility of digital fire atlases by analyzing forest fire extent across cold, dry, and mesic forests, within and outside federally designated wilderness areas during three different fire management periods: 1900 to 1934, 1935 to 1973, and 1974 to 2008. We updated an existing atlas with a 12 070 086 ha recording area in Idaho and Montana, USA, west of the Continental Divide, 81 % of which is forested.  [Read More]

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Vegetation Response after Post-Fire Mulching and Native Grass Seeding
Pages: 49-62
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1003049

Post-fire mulch and seeding treatments, often applied on steep, severely burned slopes immediately after large wildfires, are meant to reduce the potential of erosion and establishment of invasive plants, especially non-native plants, that could threaten values at risk. However, the effects of these treatments on native vegetation response post fire are little studied, especially beyond one to two years. We compared species richness, diversity, and percent canopy cover of understory plants one, two, three, four, and six years after immediate post-fire application of wood strand mulch, agricultural wheat straw mulch, hydromulch + seed with locally adapted native grasses, seed only with locally adapted native grasses with no mulch, and untreated (no mulch or grass seeding) after the 2005 School Fire in Washington, USA.  [Read More]

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Vegetation Response to Burn Severity, Native Grass Seeding, and Salvage Logging
Pages: 31-58
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1102031

As the size and extent of wildfires has increased in recent decades, so has the cost and extent of post-fire management, including seeding and salvage logging.  However, we know little about how burn severity, salvage logging, and post-fire seeding interact to influence vegetation recovery long-term.  We sampled understory plant species richness, diversity, and canopy cover one to six years post fire (2006 to 2009, and 2011) on 72 permanent plots selected in a stratified random sample to define post-fire vegetation response to burn severity, post-fire seeding with native grasses, and salvage logging on the 2005 School Fire in eastern Washington.  [Read More]

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