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Centering socioecological connections to collaboratively manage post- fire vegetation shifts

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Climate  change  is  altering  fire  regimes  and  post-fire  conditions,  contributing  to  relatively  rapid  transformation  of  landscapes  across  the  western  US.  Studies  are  increasingly  documenting  post-fire  vegetation  transitions,  particularly  from  forest  to  non-  forest conditions or from sagebrush to invasive annual grasses. The prevalence of climate-driven, post-fire vegetation transitions is likely to increase in the future with major impacts on social–ecological systems. However, research and management communi-ties have only recently focused attention on this emerging climate risk, and many knowledge gaps remain. We identify three key needs for advancing the management of post-fire vegetation transitions, including centering Indigenous communities in collabo-rative management of fire-prone ecosystems, developing decision-relevant science to inform pre-  and post-fire management, and supporting adaptive management through improved monitoring and information-sharing across geographic and organizational boundaries. We highlight promising examples that are helping to transform the perception and management of post-fire vegeta-tion transition.

Kimberley T Davis, Monique Wynecoop, Mary Ann Rozance, Katherine B Swensen, Drew S Lyons, Charlotte Dohrn, and Meade Krosby

Davis, K.T., Wynecoop, M., Rozance, M.A., Swensen, K.B., Lyons, D.S., Dohrn, C. and Krosby, M. (2024), Centering socioecological connections to collaboratively manage post-fire vegetation shifts. Front Ecol Environ e2739.

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