History and management of crown-fire ecosystems: A summary and response
Some ecosystems, such as yellow pine forests, have had a long history of frequent surface fires, but because of fire suppression policy, fires have been largely excluded from them during the last century (Covington 2000). Unnatural fuel accumulation in these forests has increased the potential for large, catastrophic crown fires, and re-introduction of prescribed fire is one remedy for this critical fire hazard. But fire ecologists and fire managers need to be cautious in transferring this model to all western ecosystems (Anderson et al. 1999; Gutsell et al. 2001). Although large, catastrophic crown fires are apparently unnatural in yellow pine forests (but cf. Shinneman & Baker 1997 ), this is not so in other western forests and shrub-lands, and widespread prescription burning is not warranted everywhere.
|History and management of crown-fire ecosystems: A summary and response
|Jon E. Keeley, C. J. Fotheringham
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Western Ecological Research Center