Phillip J. van Mantgem

Contact Info

Western Ecological Research Center, Sequoia and Ki...
US Geological Survey
47050 Generals Highway #4
Three Rivers , CA 93721, United States

Publications in Fire Ecology

Negligible Influence of Spatial Autocorrelation in the Assessment of Fire Effects in a Mixed Conifer Forest
Pages: 116-125
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0502116

Fire is an important feature of many forest ecosystems, although the quantification of its effects is compromised by the large scale at which fire occurs and its inherent unpredictability. A recurring problem is the use of subsamples collected within individual burns, potentially resulting in spatially autocorrelated data. Using subsamples from six different fires (and three unburned control areas) we show little evidence for strong spatial autocorrelation either before or after burning for eight measures of forest conditions (both fuels and vegetation).  [Read More]

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The Effects of Raking on Sugar Pine Mortality Following Prescribed Fire in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, USA
Pages: 97-116
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0603097

Prescribed fire is an important tool for fuel reduction, the control of competing vegetation, and forest restoration. The accumulated fuels associated with historical fire exclusion can cause undesirably high tree mortality rates following prescribed fires and wildfires. This is especially true for sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Douglas), which is already negatively affected by the introduced pathogen white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fisch. ex Rabenh). We tested the efficacy of raking away fuels around the base of sugar pine to reduce mortality following prescribed fire in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, California, USA. This study was conducted in three prescribed fires and included 457 trees, half of which had the fuels around their bases raked away to mineral soil to 0.5 m away from the stem. Fire effects were assessed and tree mortality was recorded for three years after prescribed fires. Overall, raking had no detectable effect on mortality: raked trees averaged 30 % mortality compared to 36 % for unraked trees. There was a significant effect, however, between the interaction of raking and average pre-treatment forest floor fuel depth: the predicted probability of survival of a 50 cm dbh tree was 0.94 vs. 0.96 when average pre-treatment fuel depth was 0 cm for a raked and unraked tree, respectively.  [Read More]

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Does Prescribed Fire Promote Resistance to Drought in Low Elevation Forests of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA?
Pages: 13-25
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1201013

Prescribed fire is a primary tool used to restore western forests following more than a century of fire exclusion, reducing fire hazard by removing dead and live fuels (small trees and shrubs).  It is commonly assumed that the reduced forest density following prescribed fire also reduces competition for resources among the remaining trees, so that the remaining trees are more resistant (more likely to survive) in the face of additional stressors, such as drought.  [Read More]

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