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Title: Implications of changing fire regimes for aquatic ecosystems

Author: Rieman, Bruce; Luce, Charles H.; Dunham, Jason B.; Rosenberger, Amanda L.;

Date: 2005

Source: Mixed severity fire regimes: ecology and management; symposium proceedings; November 17-19, 2004. Pullman, Wash.: Washington State University Extension: 187-191

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Climate change and past management, including fire suppression, have been linked to changing patterns of fire in the last century. It is widely believed that many forested areas have moved from a regime of low and mixed severity fire to more frequent and more continuous high severity fire (Hessburg and Agee 2003). There is growing concern among ecologists and natural resource managers that changing fire regimes could disrupt the function of whole ecosystems (USDA 2000). In the context of aquatic communities and native fishes, fire has an important influence on the structure and condition of habitats and can dramatically influence the dynamics of individual populations. Changing fire regimes and the potential for larger more disruptive fires may threaten the loss of aquatic habitat diversity and lead to accelerated extinction of some vulnerable populations. A simple focus on managing fuels, however, may not address the role of fire or the primary threats to the persistence of many species. An approach that aims to restore resiliency to fire related disturbances in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems is needed.

Keywords: aquatic ecosystems, fire regimes, fire severity, fish

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Rieman, Bruce; Luce, Charles H.; Dunham, Jason B.; Rosenberger, Amanda L. 2005. Implications of changing fire regimes for aquatic ecosystems. Mixed severity fire regimes: ecology and management; symposium proceedings; November 17-19, 2004. Pullman, Wash.: Washington State University Extension: 187-191

 


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