Table of Contents

Fire Ecology
Volume 7, Issue 2 - 2011
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702

About the Cover


Message from the Editor

Author: Jan W. van Wagtendonk
Page: 1
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702001

When I took over as managing editor of Fire Ecology five years ago from Michael Medler, he stated in his message from the editor that a beginning is a very delicate time. That beginning has blossomed, and we feel that Fire Ecology is well on its way to becoming the journal of choice for fire ecologists to share their findings and explore new ideas. In the past seven volumes, there have been 15 issues, 119 articles, and over 360 authors. These authors hail from 13 countries from five continents and represent the state of the science in their areas. Fire Ecology is now indexed by SCOPUS, and we expect a decision on our application for indexing by Thomson Reuters (ISI) Web of Knowledge by the end of the year.

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Research Articles

Giant Sequoia Regeneration in Groves Exposed to Wildfire and Retention Harvest

Authors: Marc D. Meyer and Hugh D. Safford
Pages: 2-16
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702002

Both wildland fire and mechanical harvest have been proposed to achieve ecological restoration goals in giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum [Lindl.] Buchholz) groves of the southern Sierra Nevada, but their effectiveness on giant sequoia regeneration has received little attention. In the summer of 2010, we examined giant sequoia regeneration in four groves subjected to: 1) moderate- to high-severity wildfire in 1987 (Case Mountain, Redwood Mountain groves), 2) low-severity wildfire in 2008 (Black Mountain grove), 3) retention harvest (removal of all trees except large-diameter giant sequoia) followed by prescribed burning in the mid-1980s (Black Mountain, Bearskin groves), and 4) nearby unburned and unharvested (control) stands in all groves.

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Seed Bank Changes with Time-since-Fire in Florida Rosemary Scrub

Authors: Jennifer J. Navarra, Nancy Kohfeldt, Eric S. Menges, and Pedro F. Quintana-Ascencio
Pages: 17-31
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702017

The soil seed bank plays a central role in the regeneration of obligate seeding species in fire-prone habitats. We evaluated how seed density and species composition changed with time-since-fire in the Florida, USA, rosemary scrub community. Because fire affects habitat availability and plant demographic variation, we predicted that soil seed density would be low in recently burned and long-unburned stands and high at intermediate time-since-fire.

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The Effects of Conifer Encroachment and Overstory Structure on Fuels and Fire in an Oak Woodland Landscape

Authors: Eamon A. Engber, J. Morgan Varner, Leonel A. Arguello, and Neil G. Sugihara
Pages: 32-50
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702032

The role of fire in the maintenance of oak-dominated ecosystems is widely recognized. Fire exclusion results in structural and compositional shifts that alter fuelbed composition and structure, together influencing fire behavior and effects. To clarify the influence of overstory structure on fuels and fire intensity in oak woodlands and savannas, we examined fuelbeds across a gradient from open grassland to Douglas-fir- (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) invaded Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana Douglas ex Hook.) woodland in the Bald Hills of Redwood National Park, California, USA.

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Fire Frequency, Area Burned, and Severity: A Quantitative Approach to Defining a Normal Fire Year

Authors: James A. Lutz, Carl H. Key, Crystal A. Kolden, Jonathan T. Kane, and Jan W. van Wagtendonk
Pages: 51-65
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702051

Fire frequency, area burned, and fire severity are important attributes of a fire regime, but few studies have quantified the interrelationships among them in evaluating a fire year. Although area burned is often used to summarize a fire season, burned area may not be well correlated with either the number or ecological effect of fires. Using the Landsat data archive, we examined all 148 wildland fires (prescribed fires and wildfires) >40 ha from 1984 through 2009 for the portion of the Sierra Nevada centered on Yosemite National Park, California, USA.

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Vegetation Responses to Changing Fire Regimes in a Rocky Mountain Forest

Authors: Thomas A. Minckley and Robert K. Shriver
Pages: 66-80
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702066

In western North America, subalpine forests experience fires that vary greatly in terms of severity and extent. However, beyond observational and dendroecological records, little is known about past fire severity and magnitude. This is because metrics used to identify fire and ecological impacts in the deep past (i.e., sedimentary charcoal and pollen data) are coarse tools for examining fine-scale environmental responses.

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Wildfires Alter Rodent Community Structure across Four Vegetation Types in Southern California, USA

Authors: Cheryl S. Brehme, Denise R. Clark, Carlton J. Rochester, and Robert N. Fisher
Pages: 81-98
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702081

We surveyed burned and unburned plots across four habitat reserves in San Diego County, California, USA, in 2005 and 2006, to assess the effects of the 2003 wildfires on the community structure and relative abundance of rodent species. The reserves each contained multiple vegetation types (coastal sage scrub, chaparral, woodland, and grassland) and spanned from 250 m to 1078 m in elevation. Multivariate analyses revealed a more simplified rodent community structure in all burned habitats in comparison to unburned habitats.

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Comparison of Burn Severities of Consecutive Large-Scale Fires in Florida Sand Pine Scrub Using Satellite Imagery Analysis

Authors: David R. Godwin and Leda N. Kobziar
Pages: 99-113
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702099

Remotely sensed imagery has been used extensively in the western US to evaluate patterns of burn severity and vegetation recovery following wildland fires. Its application in southern US ecosystems, however, has been limited. Challenges in southern areas include very high rates of vegetation recovery following fire, frequent cloud cover, and the presence of standing water. Use of remote sensing in southern forests should therefore be coupled with concurrent ground-based assessments, at least until the methods are tested for different ecosystems.

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Landscape-Scale Vegetation Change following Fire in Point Reyes, California, USA

Authors: Alison B. Forrestel, Max A. Moritz, and Scott L. Stephens
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.

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Forum: Issues, Management, Policy, and Opinions

Amphibian Responses to Wildfire in the Western United States: Emerging Patterns from Short-Term Studies

Authors: Blake R. Hossack and David S. Pilliod
Pages: 129-144
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702129

The increased frequency and severity of large wildfires in the western United States is an important ecological and management issue with direct relevance to amphibian conservation. Although the knowledge of fire effects on amphibians in the region is still limited relative to most other vertebrate species, we reviewed the current literature to determine if there are evident patterns that might be informative for conservation or management strategies. Of the seven studies that compared pre- and post-wildfire data on a variety of metrics, ranging from amphibian occupancy to body condition, two reported positive responses and five detected negative responses by at least one species.

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Short Communication

Burn Severity and Non-Native Species in Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Authors: Kristen M. Kaczynski, Susan W. Beatty, Jan W. van Wagtendonk, and Kristin N. Marshall
Pages: 145-149
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702145

We examined non-native species density three years after the Tuolumne Fire, which burned 1540 ha in upper montane forest in California, USA. We sampled 60 plots, stratified by burn severity (low, moderate, or high severity) and landscape position (lowland or upland). We detected non-native species in 8 of 11 (73 %) of high severity lowland sites and in 5 of 10 (50 %) of moderate severity lowland sites but, overall, richness and abundance was low.

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