Local and regional species extirpations may become more common as changing climate and disturbance regimesaccelerate species’ in situ range contractions. Identifying locations that function as both climate and disturbancerefugia is critical for biodiversity conservation.
Context Fire regimes in many dry forests of western North America are substantially different from historical conditions, and there is concern about the ability of these forests to recover following severe wildfire. Fire refugia, unburned or low-severity burned patches where trees survived fire, may serve as essential propagule sources that enable forest regeneration.
Record-breaking fire seasons are becoming increasingly common worldwide, and large wildfires are having extraordinary impacts on people and property, despite years of investments to support social–ecological resilience to wildfires.
Until Euro-American colonization, Indigenous people used fire to modify eco-cultural systems, developing robust Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). Since 1980, wildfire activity has increased due to fire suppression and climate change. In 2017, in Waterton Lakes National Park, AB, the Kenow wildfire burned 19,303 ha, exhibiting extreme fire behavior.
Recent prolonged droughts and catastrophic wildfires in the western United States have raised concerns about the potential for forest mortality to impact forest structure, forest ecosystem services, and the economic vitality of communities in the coming decades. We used the Community Land Model (CLM) to determine forest vulnerability to mortality from drought and fire by the year 2049.
Resilience has become a common goal for science-based natural resource management, particularly in the context of changing climate and disturbance regimes. Integrating varying perspectives and definitions of resilience is a complex and often unrecognized challenge to applying resilience concepts to social–ecological systems (SESs) management.
Wildfires across western North America have increased in number and size over the past three decades, and this trend will continue in response to further warming. As a consequence, the wildland–urban interface is projected to experience substantially higher risk of climate-driven fires in the coming decades.
The field of so-called “futures research” provides researchers and stakeholders in a given subject area or system a way to map out and plan for alternate possible scenarios of the future.
The field of adaptive management has been embraced by researchers and managers in the United States as an approach to improve natural resource stewardship in the face of uncertainty and complex environmental problems. Integrating multiple knowledge sources and feedback mechanisms is an important step in this approach.
The concept of resilience has permeated the discourse of many land use and environmental agencies in an attempt to articulate how to develop and implement policies concerned with the social and ecological dimensions of natural disturbances. Several distinct definitions of resilience exist, each with its own concepts, focus and contexts related to land use policy and management.