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Fire History from Tree Rings. Justification: Wildfires in Montana and Idaho …

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Presentation on theme: "Fire History from Tree Rings. Justification: Wildfires in Montana and Idaho …"— Presentation transcript:

1 Fire History from Tree Rings

2 Justification: Wildfires in Montana and Idaho …

3 Justification: Wildfires in Florida and Georgia …

4 Justification: Wildfires in California …

5 Justification: Wildfires in Arizona …

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7 Fire exclusion – the most successful ad campaign ever…

8 Low severity wildfires …

9 … versus high severity wildfires.

10 The fire-scar record from tree rings. Southwestern white pine and ponderosa pine, Mt. Graham, Arizona ponderosa pine, El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico

11 The fire-scar record from tree rings. Giant sequoia stump, Sequoia National Park, California

12 The fire-scar record from tree rings. Table Mountain pine snag, Brush Mountain, Virginia

13 The fire-scar record from tree rings. Catface on Table Mountain pine log, Reddish Knob, Virginia

14 The fire-scar record from tree rings. Fire scars on freshly-cut Table Mountain pine, Brush Mountain, Virginia

15 The fire-scar record from tree rings. Fire scars on ponderosa pine, El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico

16 The fire-scar record from tree rings. Fire scars on sugar pine, Sequoia National Park, California

17 The fire-scar record from tree rings. Fire scars on giant sequoia, Sequoia National Park, California

18 Seasonality of past fires from tree rings. Fire scar on southwestern white pine, Mt. Graham, Arizona

19 Seasonality of past fires from tree rings. Detail of fire scar on ponderosa pine, El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico

20 Fire regimes: Fire frequency: how often Mean Fire Return Interval, Weibull Median Probability Interval Fire seasonality: when fires occur throughout the year Early season versus late season Fire severity: effects on forests Age structure, stand composition, stand structure Fire extent: spatial aspects Patchy fires versus landscape level fires Fire variability: changes in fire over time and space Climatic or human-driven?

21 Interpreting Fire History Charts Years on x-axis Period of Reliability: 1896 to 1944 Each line = 1 treeSample IDs Composite axis Solid lines = recorder years Each tic = fire scar Dash lines = non-recorder years Begin/end symbology

22 Temporal Spatial

23 The Fire Chart

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27 Stand age and composition: Core all species in your study area Core all trees in your study area Record tree and stand information Provides information on effects of fire in forests = severity Were fires low-severity or high-severity? Was this a mixed-severity fire regime?

28 Brush Mountain Fire History Period of Reliability: 1758–1934 All-scarred class: MEI: 3 yrs; LEI: 1 yr; UEI: 8 yrs 10%-scarred class: MEI: 8 yrs; LEI: 2 yrs; UEI: 19 yrs 90% DE fires, 10% MLA fires Cohort establishment, with surviving trees, then little fire for 20 years = moderate severity fire in 1853 Cohort establishment, with surviving trees = moderate severity fire in 1926

29 Griffith Knob Fire History Period of Reliability: 1810–1934 All-scarred class: MEI: 2 yrs; LEI: 1 yr; UEI: 4 yrs 10%-scarred class: MEI: 4 yrs; LEI: 1 yr; UEI: 12 yrs 72% DE fires, 28% MLA fires Cohort establishment, with surviving trees, after complex of fires, 1890 = moderate severity? Cohort establishment, with surviving trees, after 1926 fire = moderate severity fire

30 Changing seasonality of past fires

31 Analyzing the Climate/Wildfire Relationship: Done using Superposed Epoch Analysis Originally developed to study the preconditioning controls of natural events. Examples? Takes climate prior to, during, and after fire events, averages them together. Where does climate information come from before climate records were kept?

32 Superposed Epoch Analysis

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34 Changing fire regimes?

35 Synthesis!


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