Navigation Links
Study of wildfire trends in Northwestern California shows no increase in severity over time
Date:3/1/2012

REDDING, Calif.Even though wildfires have increased in size over time, they haven't necessarily grown in severity nor had corresponding negative impacts to the ecosystem, according to a recently published study appearing in the journal Ecological Applications.

A team of scientists from the USDA Forest Service and the University of California, Davis, assessed the size, severity and frequency of wildfires on four national forestsKlamath, Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity and Six Riversof northwestern California from 1910 to 2008 and their effects on the ecosystem. Fire severity is measured by its impact on resources such as watersheds, wildlife habitat, soils, vegetation and forest products. "High" severity patches within fires are areas where greater than 95 percent of the forest canopy was killed.

The study's key findings include:

  • Despite an increase in total acres burned, there was no trend in the proportion of fires burning at high severity, which indicates that fires have not been getting worse.
  • Most areas burned since 1987 have been at low to moderate severity.
  • The more area burned in a year, the less the proportion that burned at high severity.
  • Lightning-caused fires, which burned at lower severity than human-caused fires, accounted for 87 percent of the 1.6 million acres that burned in northwestern California from 1987 through 2008.
  • Human-caused fires dominated the first half of the 20th century, while lightning-caused fires have dominated the last several decades.

These findings suggest that fires burning under less than extreme fire weather and fuel moisture conditions could be used to attain ecological and management goals since they generally produce less than severe results. In other words, the fires that are easy to put out could actually be used to achieve management goals.

Researchers note that these findings may be unique to the Klamath Mountains where the study was conducted. The steep, rugged mountains in northwestern California present different environmental features compared to the Sierra Nevada where similar studies did show a trend of increasing proportion of high severity over time.

"As we can see from these findings, one size does not fit all when it comes to managing wildfires," says Carl Skinner, PSW geographer, who co-authored the study. "This study has some very important implications for fire and forest management policies. Our results support the idea that wildfires could be managed for ecological benefit in this bioregion."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sherri Eng
sleng@fs.fed.us
510-559-6327
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study shows earthworms to blame for decline of ovenbirds in northern Midwest forests
2. MU scientists study how to improve pesticide efficiency
3. Studying the importance of biological rhythms for the ecological performance of plants
4. Nowhere to hide: Study finds future of Sumatran tigers threatened by human disturbances
5. Cleveland Clinic Childrens Hospital launches study to genetically test for autism
6. Iowa State, Ames Lab chemists aid study of mutated plants that may be better for biofuels
7. UBC researcher invents lab on a chip device to study malaria
8. Ice Age coyotes were supersized compared to coyotes today, fossil study reveals
9. Coral reef study traces indirect effects of overfishing
10. Traces of listeria found in Vancouver ready-to-eat fish products: UBC study
11. Study IDs new marine protected areas in Madagascar
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/28/2017)... 2017   Acuant , a leading provider of ... enhancements to new and core technologies building upon the ... mobile and desktop Acuant FRM TM facial recognition ... real time manual review of identity documents by accredited ... fastest and most accurate capture software to streamline workflows ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... , Feb. 27, 2017   Strategic Cyber ... announced it has led a $3.5 million investment in  ... platform. Strategic Cyber Ventures is DC based and is ... Hank Thomas . Ron Gula , also ... Ventures, also participated in this series A round of ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017 With the biometrics ... Research identifies four technologies that innovative and agile ... significant share in the changing competitive landscape: multifactor ... authentication.   "Companies can no longer ... security," says Dimitrios Pavlakis , Industry Analyst ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... Proper glycosylation ... on the desired increase and/or decrease in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity or complement-dependent cytotoxicity, ... of therapeutic antibodies. , To meet this demand, the team at SCIEX ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , ... March 21, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum ... (CMO Summit) to be held on May 10-11, 2017, at the Colonnade Hotel in ... specifically for Chief Medical Officer peer-to-peer learning, benchmarking and support. , “The Chief Medical ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) strongly opposes the ... published fiscal year 2018 budget request. , This proposal calls for ... or roughly 20% of its total budget. If applied proportionally across NIH, funding for ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017  Personal Genome ... its cancer testing contract with the U.S. Department ... tumor profiling assay with the company,s new CancerSELECT ... comprehensive, clinically actionable pan-cancer profiling test that includes ... assess potential patient response to checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: