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Project ID: 09-3-01-68

Year: 2009

Date Started: 05/29/2009

Date Completed: 01/18/2012

Title: Can Climate Change Increase Fire Severity Independent of Fire Intensity?

Project Proposal Abstract: We propose to test the idea that climate may affect forest fire severity independent of fire intensity. Pervasive warming can lead to chronic stress on forest trees (McDowell et al. 2008, Raffa et al. 2008), resulting in higher sensitivity to fire-induced damage (van Mantgem et al. 2003). Thus, there may be ongoing increases in fire severity (the number of trees killed), even when there is no change in fire intensity (the amount of heat released during a fire). We will consider this question at a subcontinental scale by synthesizing existing information from plot-based prescribed fire monitoring databases across the western United States of America (USA). Prescribed fire data are particularly well suited to exploring the relationship between climate and fire severity because prescription burns are conducted over a relatively narrow range of fire weather but over a potentially wide range of inter-annual climatic conditions. Results of this study will determine the role of climate on fire severity. Relationships developed here will also help managers predict changes in fire severity from large-scale climatic anomalies (e.g., ENSO, PDO) and from secular trends in climate.

Principal Investigator: Phillip J. van Mantgem

Agency/Organization: USGS-Geological Survey

Branch or Dept: WERC-Redwood Field Station


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

MaryBeth J. Keifer

NPS-National Park Service

Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Co-Principal Investigator

Robert C. Klinger

USGS-Geological Survey

BRD-Biological Resources Division

Co-Principal Investigator

Eric E. Knapp

Forest Service

PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Federal Cooperator

Phillip J. van Mantgem

USGS-Geological Survey

WERC-Redwood Field Station

Federal Fiscal Representative

Cindy C. Lu

USGS-Geological Survey

WERC-Sequoia & Kings Canyon Field Station


Project Locations

Consortium

California

Northern Rockies

Northwest

Southern Rockies

Southwest


Level

State

Agency

Unit

REGIONAL

Interior West

FS

REGIONAL

Interior West

NPS


Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   70 Ph.D. Dissertation The Effect of Prescribed Fire on Sugar Pine Mortality in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
view or print   1794 Government Publication Trees already stressed by drought may be more likely to die from fire
view or print   1381 Government Publication Publication Brief for Managers: Which Trees are Killed by Fire?
view or print   3397 Journal Article Forest Ecology and Management
view or print   3398 Journal Article Ecology Letters
view or print go to website 3905 Website Project website.
view or print go to website 5667 Invited Paper/Presentation Can Climate Change Lead to Increasing Fire Severity Independent of Fire Intensity in Mediterranean Forests?
    7401 Invited Paper/Presentation Can climate change increase fire severity independent of fire intensity?
    7402 Invited Paper/Presentation Can climate change increase fire severity independent of fire intensity?
    7403 Invited Paper/Presentation For whom the bell tolls: Fire, climate change and tree mortality in the western US
    7404 Invited Paper/Presentation Can climate change increase fire severity independent of fire intensity?
  go to website 7405 Invited Paper/Presentation For whom the bell tolls: patterns and processes of fire-caused tree mortality.
    7406 Invited Paper/Presentation Patterns and processes of tree mortality in an era of climate change.
    7407 Invited Paper/Presentation Can our forests take the heat? Patterns and processes of tree mortality in an era of climate change.
    7408 Invited Paper/Presentation Can our forests take the heat? Fire, climate change and tree mortality in the western US

Supporting Documents

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