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Fire as an ecological process

January 1, 2004

This chapter investigates fire as a dynamic ecosystem process by first investigating fire in the context of general ecological theory, then discussing the concept of fire regimes, and finally by developing and applying a new framework for classifying fire regimes that better allows for the understanding of the patterns of fire as processes within ecosystems. Moreover, the chapter covers the succession theory and then proceeds through ecosystem, disturbance, and hierarchical theory. Next, it greatly expands on Agee’s (1993) treatment of conceptual distributions to include seven fire regime attributes, namely seasonality, fire return interval, fire size, spatial complexity, fireline intensity, fire severity, and fire type. Although humans have altered fire regimes throughout California for thousands of years, the pace of fire regime change has accelerated over the past 200 years. Recent and current management strategies have imposed directional changes on the pattern of fires in many California ecosystems.

Publication Year 2004
Title Fire as an ecological process
DOI 10.1525/california/9780520246058.003.0004
Authors N. G. Sugihara, J. W. van Wagtendonk, J. Fites-Kaufman
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 81588
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center