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Multi-scale controls of historical forest-fire regimes: new insights from fire-scar networks

Falk, Donald A. and Heyerdahl, Emily K. and Brown, Peter M. and Farris, Calvin and Fule, Peter Z and McKenzie, Donald and Swetnam, Thomas W. and Taylor, Alan H. and Van Horne, Megan L. (2011) Multi-scale controls of historical forest-fire regimes: new insights from fire-scar networks. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 9 (8). pp. 446-454. ISSN 1540-9309


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Publisher’s or external URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/100052


Anticipating future forest-fire regimes under changing climate requires that scientists and natural resource managers understand the factors that control fire across space and time. Fire scars - proxy records of fires, formed in the growth rings of long-lived trees - provide an annually accurate window into past low-severity fire regimes. In western North America, networks of the fire-scar records spanning centuries to millennia now include hundreds to thousands of trees sampled across hundreds to many thousands of hectares. Development of these local and regional fire-scar networks has created a new data type for ecologists interested in landscape and climate regulation of ecosystem processes - which, for example, may help to explain why forest fires are widespread during certain years but not others. These data also offer crucial reference information on fire as a dynamic landscape process for use in ecosystem management, especially when managing for forest structure and resilience to climate change.

Item Type: Article
Publisher’s Statement: © 2011. Copyright by the Ecological Society of America.
ID number or DOI: 10.1890/100052
Keywords: fire-scar networks; forest fires; climate change; ecosystem management; fire regimes;
Subjects: S Agriculture > SD Forestry
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Science > School of Forestry
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2015 18:24
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/677

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