Although fire is a fundamental ecological process in western North American forests, climate warming and accumulating forest fuels due to fire suppression have led to wildfires that burn at high severity across larger fractions of their footprint than were historically typical.
Building fire-adaptive communities and fostering fire-resilient landscapes have become two of the main research strands of wildfire science that go beyond strictly biophysical viewpoints and call for the integration of complementary visions of landscapes and the communities living there, with their legacy of knowledge and subjective dimensions.
Wildfire is a keystone ecological process in many forests worldwide, but fire exclusion and suppression have driven profound shifts in forest structure (e.g., increased density, canopy cover, biomass) that have contributed to increases in large, high-severity fire in many seasonally dry forests and woodlands of the western United States.
Background: Wildfires, like many disturbances, can be catalysts for ecosystem change. Given projected climate change, tree regeneration declines and ecosystem shifts following severe wildfires are predicted. We reviewed scientific literature on post-fire tree regeneration to understand where and why no or few trees established.
Wildfires underpin the dynamics and diversity of many ecosystems worldwide, and plants show a plethora of adaptive traits for persisting recurrent fires. Many fire-prone ecosystems also harbor a rich fauna; however, knowledge about adaptive traits to fire in animals remains poorly explored.
This curriculum is designed to teach the basics of fire to non-fire-professional community members, including instructors and landowners, such as ranchers and farmers. The goal is to reduce risk and fire hazard through education and understanding.
Dwarf mistletoes (Viscaceae: Arceuthobium spp.) and fire interact in important ways in the coniferous forests of western North America. Fire directly affects dwarf mistletoes by killing the host, host branch, or heating/smoking the aerial shoots and fruits.