Scott L. Stephens

Contact Info

Division of Ecosystem Science, Department of Envir...
University of California, Berkeley
137 Mulford Hall
University of California
Berkeley , CA 94720-3114 , United States

Publications in Fire Ecology

Fire History in Coast Redwood Stands in the Northeastern Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Pages: 2-19
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0101002

Fire regimes in coast redwood forests in the northeastern Santa Cruz Mountains were determined by ring counts from 48 coast redwood stumps, downed logs, and live trees. Degradation of remnant materials from post-harvest fires severely limited available fire scars in this region. The earliest recorded fire was recorded in approximately 1615 and the last fire recorded was in 1884.  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Fire History and Climate Influences from Forests in the Northern Sierra Nevada, USA
Pages: 115-127
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0201115

Fire chronologies were developed for four regions representing two general forest types in the Plumas National Forest, Northern Sierra Nevada, California. Chronologies were developed using dendrochronological techniques largely from remnant woody materials, since past logging has left few live trees with long fire scar records. Over the period from 1454 to 2001, 113 fire years were identified in the four regions.  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Restoring Northern Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer Forest Composition and Structure with Prescribed Fires of Varying Intensities
Pages: 20-33
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0202020

The effectiveness of low and high intensity prescribed fires in restoring the composition andspatial structure in a mixed conifer forest in the Northern Sierra Nevada is examined. The overstocked pre-fire stand had 480 trees ha-1, a basal area of 39.5 m² ha-1, and an inverse J shaped diameter distribution with an average dbh of 23 cm. Prescribed fires produced tree mortality in the lower and intermediate dbh-classes and affected trees up to 40 cm dbh.  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Fire Scarring Patterns in Sierra Nevada Wilderness Areas Burned by Multiple Wildland Fire Use Fires
Pages: 53-67
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0302053

Uncertainty associated with fire-scar reconstructions of historical fire occurrence has led to questioning both estimates of frequency derived from these methods and the inferences on fire regimes drawn from these estimates. Using information from multiple, naturally-occurring fires (referred to as wildland fire use (WFU) fires) in two Sierra Nevada wilderness areas, we identified forest structural, topographic, and fire characteristics influencing fire scarring in trees and conducted direct comparisons of fire-scar reconstructed fire extent and frequency to fire atlas based estimates of fire extent and frequency.  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Measuring the Rate of Spread of Chaparral Prescribed Fires in Northern California
Pages: 74-86
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0401074

Prescribed fire is a common method used to produce desired ecological effects in chaparral by mimicking the natural role of fire. Since prescribed fires are usually conducted in moderate fuel and weather conditions, models that accurately predict fire behavior and effects under these scenarios are important for management. In this study, explosive audio devices and steel stakes were used to record the location of the flaming front during seven prescribed fires in mature, chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum) dominated chaparral in northern California.  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Fire History of a Lower Elevation Jeffrey Pine-Mixed Conifer Forest in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, California, USA
Pages: 4-19
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0503004

For thousands of years, fire has shaped coniferous forests of the western United States. In more recent time, land use practices have altered the role fire plays in the Sierra Nevada. By understanding the past, land managers can design better fuel treatments today. This research explores the fire regimes of Sagehen Experimental Forest in the eastern Sierra Nevada, California, through a fire scar reconstruction of lower elevation Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi Balf.) and Jeffrey pine-mixed conifer stands.  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Climate, Rain Shadow, and Human-Use Influences on Fire Regimes in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, California, USA
Pages: 20-34
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0503020

There have been few fire history studies of eastern Sierra Nevada forests in California, USA, where a steep elevation gradient, rain shadow conditions, and forest stand isolation may produce different fire regimes than those found on the range’s western slope. We investigated historic fire regimes and potential climate influences on four forest types ranging in elevation from 1700 m to 3200 m on the Sierra Nevada’s eastern slope and the White Mountains’ western slope. Sample areas (approximately 15 ha to 45 ha) had mean site fire return intervals ranging from 4.8 yr to 16.9 yr across ten Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi Balf.) sites, and 13.4 yr to 45.7 yr across four high elevation lodgepole (P. contorta Douglas ex Louden), foxtail (P. balfouriana Balf.) and bristlecone (P. longaeva D.K. Bailey) pine sites.  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Human and Climatic Influences on Fire Occurrence in California’s North Coast Range, USA
Pages: 76-99
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0503076

Outside of the immediate coastal environments, little is known of fire history in the North Coast Range of California. Fire scar specimens were collected from ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa C. Lawson), sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Douglas), incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens [Torr] Florin), and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) for seven plots in mixed-conifer forests from the Mendocino National Forest, California, USA. Five plots were on high ridges immediately adjacent to the Sacramento Valley (DRY plots). The other two plots were on mesic north facing slopes interior in the range (MESIC plots), and were separated from the Sacramento Valley by at least one to several ridge systems. These two plots were selected because they supported populations of rare lady’s slipper orchids (Cypripedium fasciculatum [Kellogg ex S. Watson] and C. montanum [Douglas ex Lindl.]).  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Landscape-Scale Vegetation Change following Fire in Point Reyes, California, USA
Pages: 114-128
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702114

Fire is an important factor in determining plant community composition and distribution. This study quantifies landscape-scale vegetation change following a large fire at Point Reyes National Seashore, California, USA. Vegetation in the Point Reyes region is characterized by a complex mosaic of grassland, shrub, and forest plant communities, and by high levels of plant diversity. Although large fires are relatively rare on the coast of California north of San Francisco Bay, they are important in determining the distributions of plant communities at the landscape scale.  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Age and Structure of Mature Knobcone Pine Forests in the Northern California Coast Range, USA
Pages: 49-62
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0801049

An understanding of current structural conditions and disturbance history is a requisite for optimal management of forest ecosystems, especially for serotinous species such as knobcone pine (Pinus attenuata Lemmon).  Knobcone pine is widely distributed in California, yet little is known regarding age and forest structure patterns.  In this study, we quantify forest conditions of 21 mature knobcone pine stands in the northern Mayacmas Mountains, north Coast Range, California, USA.  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Aspen Restoration in the Eastern Sierra Nevada: Effectiveness of Prescribed Fire and Conifer Removal
Pages: 104-118
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0803104

Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) comprises only a small fraction (1 %) of the Sierra Nevada landscape, yet contributes significant biological diversity to this range. In an effort to rejuvenate declining aspen stands, the Bureau of Land Management conducted conifer removal in three sites (2004 to 2006) and prescribed fire in two sites (2007).  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Opportunities for Improved Fire Use and Management in California: Lessons from Western Australia
Pages: 14-25
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0902014

As the large scale of fuel treatments needed to promote ecosystem health and reduce heavy fuel loads becomes clear in California’s mixed conifer forests, managers are beginning to focus on how to scale up prescribed fire use in order to treat a meaningful portion of the landscape.

  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF

Relating Fire-Caused Change in Forest Structure to Remotely Sensed Estimates of Fire Severity
Pages: 99-116
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1203099

Fire severity maps are an important tool for understanding fire effects on a landscape. The relative differenced normalized burn ratio (RdNBR) is a commonly used severity index in California forests, and is typically divided into four categories: unchanged, low, moderate, and high. RdNBR is often calculated twice—from images collected the year of the fire (initial assessment) and during the summer of the year after the fire (extended assessment).  [Read More]

View: HTML  |  PDF


Find other publications by Scott L. Stephens using Google Scholar.

Back to Previous Page