Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (2.4 MB)

Title: Climate, rain shadow, and human-use influences on fire regimes in the eastern Sierra Nevada, California, USA

Author: North, M.P.; van de Water, K.M.; Stephens, S.L.; Collins, B.M.;

Date: 2009

Source: Fire Ecology 5(3): 17-31

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: There have been few fire history studies of eastern Sierra Nevada forests in California, USA, where a steep elevation gradient, rain shadow conditions, and forest stand isolation may produce different fire regimes than those found on the range’s western slope. We investigated historic fire regimes and potential climate influences on four forest types ranging in elevation from 1700 m to 3200 m on the Sierra Nevada’s eastern slope and the White Mountains’ western slope. Sample areas (approximately 15 ha to 45 ha) had mean site fire return intervals ranging from 4.8 yr to 16.9 yr across ten Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi Balf.) sites, and 13.4 yr to 45.7 yr across four high elevation lodgepole (P. contorta Douglas ex Louden), foxtail (P. balfouriana Balf.) and bristlecone (P. longaeva D.K. Bailey) pine sites. At most sites (13 of 14), >50 % of fire events occurred in late or dormant season wood. Twentieth century fire return intervals increased at some sites, while other sites continued to record frequent fire events into the 1950s. Years where two or more sites recorded fire events on two or more trees were correlated with drought conditions forecast by the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) in our sample locations at and north of Mammoth Lakes. The lower Sierra Nevada crest due west of these locations may connect weather patterns with western slope conditions more than at our southern eastside sample sites, which were not significantly correlated with PDSI. Our results suggest eastern Sierra Nevada Jeffrey pine forests have similar seasonality and fire return intervals as some western slope forests, but site fire history can be influenced by stand isolation, historical use, and local rain shadow conditions.

Publication Notes:

  • 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.

XML: View XML

Citation:


North, M.P.; van de Water, K.M.; Stephens, S.L.; Collins, B.M. 2009. Climate, rain shadow, and human-use influences on fire regimes in the eastern Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Fire Ecology 5(3): 17-31.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.