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Project ID: 06-3-1-07

Year: 2006

Date Started: 07/07/2006

Date Completed: 11/08/2010

Title: Multi-Century Reconstruction of Chaparral Fire History Using Fire-Scarred Bigcone Douglas-Fir in Three Southern California National Forests

Project Proposal Abstract: We propose to sample and date fire-scarred bigcone Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa) that exist as scattered islands of forest in a chaparral matrix in the Los Padres, San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests. Replicated at the stand, watershed, and forest level, we will create a regional fire-scar network. The fire event dates and parameters estimated from the network will be compared with those derived independently from the 20th century fire atlas maintained by the three National Forests. Congruence between documented fire atlas dates and the fire-scar network will provide us with an assessment of how well bigcone Douglas-fir stands are recording known fire events. Given the patchy distribution of bigcone Douglas-fir within chaparral communities, it is likely that fire primarily spreads between patches via the surrounding chaparral. We hypothesize that synchrony of fire events between patches of bigcone Douglas-fir supports this premise. We also hypothesize that the degree of synchrony will differ along a north-south gradient due to the influence of the Santa Ana winds. The results of this research will provide wildland fire managers and policy makers with significant spatial and temporal knowledge regarding the long-term natural range of fire regime variability for two communities, chaparral and bigcone Douglas-fir, of which little is currently known. Contemporary and future fire management plans will require a full understanding of fire regime variability and the ability to assess current departures from natural conditions. This proposed research will assist managers in making those assessments for chaparral, the most abundant vegetation type in California, and bigcone Douglas-fir habitat, a conservation priority in the Transverse Ranges.

Principal Investigator: Thomas W. Swetnam

Agency/Organization: University of Arizona-Tucson

Branch or Dept: Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Christopher H. Baisan

University of Arizona-Tucson

Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research

Co-Principal Investigator

Keith J. Lombardo

University of Arizona-Tucson

Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research

Federal Cooperator

Mark I. Borchert

Forest Service

Los Padres NF-Ojai Ranger District

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


There are no project locations identified for this project.

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 go to website 2850 Journal Article Fire Ecology

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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