Table of Contents

Fire Ecology
Volume 13, Issue 2 - 2017
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1302

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Research Articles

Selecting Control Sites for Post-Fire Ecological Studies Using Biological Criteria and MODIS Time Series Data

Authors: Marcos A. Landi, Carlos Di Bella, Silvia Ojeda, Paola Salvatierra, Juan P. Argañaraz, and Laura M. Bellis
Pages: 1-17
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.130274623

Wildland fires play a key role in the functioning and structure of vegetation.  The availability of sensors aboard satellites, such as Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), makes possible the construction of a time series of vegetation indices (VI) and the monitoring of post-fire vegetation recovery.  One of the techniques used to monitor post-fire vegetation is the comparison of a burned site with an adjacent unburned control site.  However, to date, there is no objective method available for selecting these unburned control sites.

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Historical Fire–Climate Relationships in Contrasting Interior Pacific Northwest Forest Types

Authors: James D. Johnston, John D. Bailey, Christopher J. Dunn, and Amanda A. Lindsay
Pages: 18-36
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.130257453

Describing the climate influences on historical wildland fire will aid managers in planning for future change.  This study uses existing historical climate reconstructions and a new fire history from the southern Blue Mountains in eastern Oregon, USA, to: 1) characterize historical fire-climate relationships, and 2) determine if climatic influences on fire differed among dry sites dominated by ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws) and more productive sites with significant older fire intolerant grand fir (Abies grandis [Dougl.] Lindl.) structure.

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Fire Reduces Fungal Species Richness and In Situ Mycorrhizal Colonization: A Meta-Analysis

Authors: Nicholas C. Dove and Stephen C. Hart
Pages: 37-65
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.130237746

Soil fungal communities perform many functions that help plants meet their nutritional demands.  However, overall trends for fungal response to fire, which can be especially critical in a post-fire context, have been difficult to elucidate.  We used meta-analytical techniques to investigate fungal response to fire across studies, ecosystems, and fire types.  Change in fungal species richness and mycorrhizal colonization were used as the effect size metrics in random effects models.

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Predicting Post-Fire Tree Mortality for 12 Western US Conifers Using the First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM)

Authors: Sharon M. Hood and Duncan Lutes
Pages: 66-84
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.130290243

Accurate prediction of fire-caused tree mortality is critical for making sound land management decisions such as developing burning prescriptions and post-fire management guidelines.  To improve efforts to predict post-fire tree mortality, we developed 3-year post-fire mortality models for 12 Western conifer species—white fir (Abies concolor [Gord. & Glend.] Lindl. ex Hildebr.), red fir (Abies magnifica A. Murray bis), subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa [Hook.] Nutt.), incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens [Torr.] Florin), western larch (Larix occidentalis Nutt.), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Douglas ex Loudon var. latifolia Engelm. ex S. Watson), whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.), ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson var. scopulorum Engelm and var. ponderosa C. Lawson), Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi Balf.), sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Douglas), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm.), and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco var. glauca [Beissn.] Franco)—by pooling data collected from multiple fire-injury studies.

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Fire Response to Local Climate Variability: Huascarán National Park, Peru

Authors: John All, Michael J. Medler, Sylvie Arques, Rebecca Cole, Tommy Woodall, Justin King, Jun Yan, and Carl Schmitt
Pages: 85-104
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.130288764

In Huascarán National Park (HNP), Peru, grazing and anthropogenic burning have been interacting for decades with natural ignitions and climate variability to reconfigure the fire regimes of the vegetative communities.  However, over the last few decades, human alterations to the region’s fire regime were perceived by resource managers to have led to an overall increase in fire occurrence and fire extent.  Resource managers are now very concerned about the impacts of increasing anthropogenic fires in the National Park because these fires seem to disrupt ecological processes and tourism.

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Decade-Long Plant Community Responses to Shrubland Fuel Hazard Reduction

Authors: Katherine M. Wilkin, Lauren C. Ponisio, Danny L. Fry, Carmen L. Tubbesing, Jennifer B. Potts, and Scott L. Stephens
Pages: 105-136
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.130210513

Fuel hazard reduction treatments such as prescribed fire and mastication are widely used to reduce fuel hazard.  These treatments help protect people from wildfire, yet may not be mutually beneficial for people and ecosystems in areas adapted to infrequent crown fire.  Short-term studies indicate that some fuel hazard reduction treatments can be detrimental to biodiversity and ecosystem function, suggesting that land managers face an acute dilemma between protecting people or ecosystems.  However, the long-term ecological trajectories and fuel hazard outcomes of fuel treatments are poorly understood.  Using a 13-year replicated experimental study, we evaluated how shrub cover, non-native species abundance, native species diversity, and an obligate seeder responded to fuel treatments in California’s northern chaparral.

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Short Communications

Vegetation Responses to Season of Fire in Tallgrass Prairie: A 13-Year Case Study

Authors: John R. Weir and John D. Scasta
Pages: 137-142
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.130290241

Fire regulates vegetation composition of fire-dependent grasslands in North American tallgrass prairies.  We measured the vegetation response to prescribed fire seasonality by burning in two-month increments every two years, from 2004 to 2015, west of Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA.  Fire exclusion or burning in any season led to an in increase in woody plant cover ranging from 18 % to 63 %, except for September through October, which showed no increase.

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Black Carbon on Coarse Woody Debris in Once- and Twice-Burned Mixed-Conifer Forest

Authors: Aspen Ward, C. Alina Cansler, and Andrew J. Larson
Pages: 143-147
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.130288796

One important outcome of wildfire is the production of charcoal.  Charcoal is highly resistant to decomposition and its physical and chemical properties enhance soil fertility and influence nutrient cycling.  We compared the amount of black C (the carbon fraction of charcoal) on coarse woody debris (CWD; ≥7.6 cm diameter) and total CWD biomass at sites burned once in a high-severity fire with sites that burned in an initial high-severity fire and then reburned eight to ten years later.

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Forum: Issues, Management, Policy, and Opinions

Accommodating Mixed-Severity Fire to Restore and Maintain Ecosystem Integrity with a Focus on the Sierra Nevada of California, USA

Authors: Dominick A. DellaSala, Richard L. Hutto, Chad T. Hanson, Monica L. Bond, Timothy Ingalsbee, Dennis Odion, and William L. Baker
Pages: 148-171
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.130248173

Existing fire policy encourages the maintenance of ecosystem integrity in fire management, yet this is difficult to implement on lands managed for competing economic, human safety, and air quality concerns.  We discuss a fire management approach in the mid-elevations of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA, that may exemplify similar challenges in other fire-adapted regions of the western USA.  We also discuss how managing for pyrodiversity through mixed-severity fires can promote ecosystem integrity in Sierran mixed conifer and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws) forests.148

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