Title: Ecological foundations for fire management in North American forest and shrubland ecosystems
Author: Keeley, J.E.; Aplet, G.H.; Christensen, N.L.; Conard, S.G.; Johnson, E.A.; Omi, P.N.; Peterson, D.L.; Swetnam, T.W.;
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-779. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 92 p
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Description: This synthesis provides an ecological foundation for management of the diverse ecosystems and fire regimes of North America based on scientific principles of fire interactions with vegetation, fuels, and biophysical processes. Although a large amount of scientific data on fire exists, most of those data have been collected at small spatial and temporal scales. Thus, it is challenging to develop consistent science-based plans for large spatial and temporal scales where most fire management and planning occurs. Understanding the regional geographic context of fire regimes is critical for developing appropriate and sustainable management strategies and policy. The degree to which human intervention has modified fire frequency, intensity, and severity differs greatly among different ecosystems and must be considered when planning to alter fuel loads or implement restorative treatments. Detailed discussion of six ecosystems—ponderosa pine forest (western North America), chaparral (California), boreal forest (Alaska and Canada), Great Basin sagebrush (intermountain West), pine and pine-hardwood forests (Southern Appalachian Mountains), and longleaf pine (Southeastern United States)— illustrates the complexity of fire regimes and that fire management requires a clear regional focus that recognizes where conflicts might exist between fire hazard reduction and resource needs. In some systems, such as ponderosa pine, treatments are usually compatible with both fuel reduction and resource needs, whereas in others, such as chaparral, the potential exists for conflicts that need to be closely evaluated. Managing fire regimes in a changing climate and social environment requires a strong scientific basis for developing fire management and policy.
Keywords: Fire ecology, fire hazard, fire regime, fire risk, fire management, fuels, fuel manipulation, prescription burning, restoration
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly
which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
XML: View XML
Keeley, J.E.; Aplet, G.H.; Christensen, N.L.; Conard, S.G.; Johnson, E.A.; Omi, P.N.; Peterson, D.L.; Swetnam, T.W. 2009. Ecological foundations for fire management in North American forest and shrubland ecosystems. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-779. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 92 p
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility