Table of Contents

Fire Ecology
Volume 7, Issue 3 - 2011
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703

About the Cover


Message from the Editor

Author: James K. Agee
Page: 1
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703001

I’m excited to accept the job of Managing Editor of Fire Ecology. My first objective is to continue the excellent performance of Jan van Wagtendonk, our retiring Managing Editor. He’s left some pretty big shoes to fill, but I will endeavor to make the transition seamless. My first challenge is to maintain the timeliness of journal publication.

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Classic Article

The Relation of Forests and Forest Fires by Gifford Pinchot, with an Introduction by James K. Agee

Author: Gifford Pinchot
Pages: 2-11
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703002

An article by first Chief of the Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot, entitled, The Relation of Forests and Forest Fires, was published in National Geographic in 1899. Pinchot, at the time of article publication, was a forester without a portfolio. He was the Chief of the Bureau of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture, while the forest reserves (later to be renamed national forests) were managed by the Office of Public Lands within the Department of the Interior. In the article, Pinchot shows a remarkable understanding of fire ecology, ranging from the grass stage of the frequently burned longleaf pine, to the even-aged forests of the coastal Pacific Northwest, with their infrequent but stand-replacing fires.

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Research Articles

Post-Fire Growth Strategies of Resprouting Florida Scrub Vegetation

Authors: Andrea J. Maguire and Eric S. Menges
Pages: 12-25
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703012

Although resprouting is recognized as a key post-disturbance response for plants, few studies have closely examined post-fire growth responses of resprouting species. Following a prescribed burn in Florida scrub, we compared intraspecific and interspecific growth patterns of 16 resprouting shrub species. We then examined how resprouting growth is related to species life history strategies to understand how the resprouting response could contribute to niche differentiation and species coexistence. We defined growth by calculating relative growth rates based on height, crown area, and crown volume of resprouts. In addition, we measured the number, diameter, and height of all resprouting stems.

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A Summary of Fire Frequency Estimates for California Vegetation before Euro-American Settlement

Authors: Kip M. Van de Water and Hugh D. Safford
Pages: 26-58
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703026

California fire regimes have been altered from those that occurred prior to Euro-American settlement, and are predicted to continue to change as global climates warm. Inclusion of fire as a landscape-level process is considered essential to successful ecological restoration in many ecosystems, and presettlement fire regimes provide foundational information for restoration or “realignment” of ecosystems as climate change and land use changes progress. The objective of our study was to provide an up-to-date, comprehensive summary of presettlement fire frequency estimates for California ecosystems dominated by woody plants, and to supply the basis for fire return interval departure (FRID) mapping and analysis in California.

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Fire Effects on Perennial Vegetation in the Western Colorado Desert, USA

Authors: Robert J. Steers and Edith B. Allen
Pages: 59-74
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703059

The impacts of fire on creosote bush scrub vegetation have received attention recently as fire has become locally common throughout the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. One area of particular concern is western Coachella Valley, which forms the northwestern extent of the Colorado Desert. This is a major wildland-urban interface area that has been significantly impacted by atmospheric nitrogen deposition concomitant with fuel alterations from invasive annual grasses and increased ignition frequencies from human activities. Creosote bush scrub takes much longer than more mesic vegetation types to re-establish after fire, and the majority of desert species lack traits associated with resiliency to fire disturbance.

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Long-Term Post-Fire Effects on Spatial Ecology and Reproductive Output of Female Agassiz’s Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) at a Wind Energy Facility near Palm Springs, California, USA

Authors: Jeffrey E. Lovich, Joshua R. Ennen, Sheila V. Madrak, Caleb L. Loughran, Katherin P. Meyer, Terence R. Arundel, and Curtis D. Bjurlin
Pages: 75-87
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703075

We studied the long-term response of a cohort of eight female Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) during the first 15 years following a large fire at a wind energy generation facility near Palm Springs, California, USA. The fire burned a significant portion of the study site in 1995. Tortoise activity areas were mapped using minimum convex polygons for a proximate post-fire interval from 1997 to 2000, and a long-term post-fire interval from 2009 to 2010. In addition, we measured the annual reproductive output of eggs each year and monitored the body condition of tortoises over time. One adult female tortoise was killed by the fire and five tortoises bore exposure scars that were not fatal.

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Historical Stand-Replacing Fire in Upper Montane Forests of the Madrean Sky Islands and Mogollon Plateau, Southwestern USA

Authors: Ellis Q. Margolis, Thomas W. Swetnam, and Craig D. Allen
Pages: 88-107
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703088

The recent occurrence of large fires with a substantial stand-replacing component in the southwestern United States (e.g., Cerro Grande, 2000; Rodeo-Chedeski, 2002; Aspen, 2003; Horseshoe 2, Las Conchas, and Wallow, 2011) has raised questions about the historical role of stand-replacing fire in the region. We reconstructed fire dates and stand-replacing fire patch sizes using four lines of tree-ring evidence at four upper montane forest sites (>2600 m) in the Madrean Sky Islands and Mogollon Plateau of Arizona and New Mexico, USA.

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Short- and Long-Term Effects on Fuels, Forest Structure, and Wildfire Potential from Prescribed Fire and Resource Benefit Fire in Southwestern Forests, USA

Authors: Molly E. Hunter, Jose M. Iniguez, and Leigh B. Lentile
Pages: 108-121
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703108

Prescribed and resource benefit fires are used to manage fuels in fire-prone landscapes in the Southwest. These practices, however, typically occur under different conditions, potentially leading to differences in fire behavior and effects. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of recent prescribed fires, resource benefit fires, and repeated fires in ponderosa pine forests, as well as recent resource benefit fires in pinyon-juniper woodlands. The Gila National Forest was the study area because it has a rich history of using fire as a restoration tool.

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Book Review

Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History

Author: Jan W. van Wagtendonk
Page: 122
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703122

In his notes on the jacket cover of Julie Courtwright’s book, Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History, Stephen Pyne writes, “For too long the Great Plains have been a flyover region of American fire history. Thanks to Courtwright’s detailed and admirable work, they can now move from missing middle back to the center.” Certainly, this book has made a major contribution to understanding the role fire plays in the ecology of the Great Plains. Not only does Courtwright establish the importance of fire to the region, but she makes the case that fire, wildlife, and humans have interacted over millennia to perpetuate the grasslands of the plains.

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