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Filters: Tags: Ecological Applications (X) > partyWithName: J.E. Keeley (X)

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We evaluate the fine-grain age patch model of fire regimes in southern California shrublands. Proponents contend that the historical condition was characterized by frequent small to moderate size, slow-moving smoldering fires, and that this regime has been disrupted by fire suppression activities that have caused unnatural fuel accumulation and anomalously large and catastrophic wildfires. A review of more than 100 19th-century newspaper reports reveals that large, high-intensity wildfires predate modern fire suppression policy, and extensive newspaper coverage plus first-hand accounts support the conclusion that the 1889 Santiago Canyon Fire was the largest fire in California history. Proponents of the fine-grain...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Over 75 species of alien plants were recorded during the first five years after fire in southern California shrublands, most of which were European annuals. Both cover and richness of aliens varied between years and plant association. Alien cover was lowest in the first postfire year in all plant associations and remained low during succession in chaparral but increased in sage scrub. Alien cover and richness were significantly correlated with year (time since disturbance) and with precipitation in both coastal and interior sage scrub associations. Hypothesized factors determining alien dominance were tested with structural equation modeling. Models that included nitrogen deposition and distance from the coast were...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Periodic wildfire maintains the integrity and species composition of many ecosystems, including the mediterranean-climate shrublands of California. However, human activities alter natural fire regimes, which can lead to cascading ecological effects. Increased human ignitions at the wildland-urban interface (WUI) have recently gained attention, but fire activity and risk are typically estimated using only biophysical variables. Our goal was to determine how humans influence fire in California and to examine whether this influence was linear, by relating contemporary (2000) and historic (1960-2000) fire data to both human and biophysical variables. Data for the human variables included fine-resolution maps of the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Changes in vegetation and fuels were evaluated from measurements taken before and after fuel reduction treatments (prescribed fire, mechanical treatments, and the combination of the two) at 12 Fire and Fire Surrogate (FFS) sites located in forests with a surface fire regime across the conterminous United States. To test the relative effectiveness of fuel reduction treatments and their effect on ecological parameters we used an informationtheoretic approach on a suite of 12 variables representing the overstory (basal area and live tree, sapling, and snag density), the understory (seedling density, shrub cover, and native and alien herbaceous species richness), and the most relevant fuel parameters for wildfire damage...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Evergreen chaparral and semideciduous sage scrub shrublands were studied for five years after fires in order to evaluate hypothesized determinants of postfire recovery and succession. Residual species present in the immediate postfire environment dominated early succession. By the fifth year postfire, roughly half of the species were colonizers not present in the first year, but they comprised only 7-14% cover. Successional changes were evaluated in the context of four hypotheses: (1) event-dependent, (2) fire interval, (3) self-regulatory, and (4) environmental filter hypotheses. Characteristics specific to the fire event, for example, fire severity and annual fluctuations in precipitation, were important determinants...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Chaparral shrublands burn in large high-intensity crown fires. Managers interested in how these wildfires affect ecosystem processes generally rely on surrogate measures of fire intensity known as fire severity metrics. In shrublands burned in the autumn of 2003, a study of 250 sites investigated factors determining fire severity and ecosystem responses.Using structural equation modeling we show that stand age, prefire shrub density, and the shortest interval of the prior fire history had significant direct effects on fire severity, explaining >50% of the variation in severity.Fire severity per se is of interest to resource managers primarily because it is presumed to be an indicator of important ecosystem processes...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Abstract. Forest structure and species composition in many western U.S. coniferous forests have been altered through fire exclusion, past and ongoing harvesting practices, and livestock grazing over the 20th century. The effects of these activities have been most pronounced in seasonally dry, low and mid-elevation coniferous forests that once experienced frequent, low to moderate intensity, fire regimes. In this paper, we report the effects of Fire and Fire Surrogate (FFS) forest stand treatments on fuel load profiles, potential fire behavior, and fire severity under three weather scenarios from six western U.S. FFS sites. This replicated, multisite experiment provides a framework for drawing broad generalizations...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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We evaluated the abundance of nonnative plants on fuel breaks and in adjacent untreated areas to determine if fuel treatments promote the invasion of nonnative plant species. Understanding the relationship between fuel treatments and nonnative plants is becoming increasingly important as federal and state agencies are currently implementing large fuel treatment programs throughout the United States to reduce the threat of wildland fire. Our study included 24 fuel breaks located across the State of California. We found that nonnative plant abundance was over 200% higher on fuel breaks than in adjacent wildland areas. Relative nonnative cover was greater on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers (28%) than on fuel...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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This study investigates patterns of plant diversity following wildfires in fire-prone shrublands of California, seeks to understand those patterns in terms of both local and landscape factors, and considers the implications for fire management. Ninety study sites were established following extensive wildfires in 1993, and 1000-m2 plots were used to sample a variety of parameters. Data on community responses were collected for five years following fire. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to relate plant species richness to plant abundance, fire severity, abiotic conditions, within-plot heterogeneity, stand age, and position in the landscape. Temporal dynamics of average richness response was also modeled....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Fire disturbance is a primary agent of change in the mediterranean-climate chaparral shrublands of southern California, USA. However, fire frequency has been steadily increasing in coastal regions due to ignitions at the growing wildland-urban interface. Although chaparral is resilient to a range of fire frequencies, successively short intervals between fires can threaten the persistence of some species, and the effects may differ according to plant functional type. California shrublands support high levels of biological diversity, including many endangered and endemic species. Therefore, it is important to understand the long-term effects of altered fire regimes on these communities. A spatially explicit simulation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications