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Brinkman, Todd J.

We investigated wildfire-related effects on a slow ecological variable, i.e., forage production, and fast social-ecological variables, i.e., seasonal harvest rates, hunter access, and forage offtake, in a moose–hunter system in interior Alaska. In a 1994 burn, average forage production increased slightly (5%) between 2007 and 2013; however, the proportional removal across all sites declined significantly (10%). This suggests that moose are not utilizing the burn as much as they have in the past and that, as the burn has aged, the apparent habitat quality has declined. Areas with a greater proportion of accessible burned area supported both high numbers of hunters and harvested moose. Our results suggest that evaluating...
Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess...
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