Wildland Fire Science

Publications

Filter Total Items: 274
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Year Published: 2020

Frequent burning causes large losses of carbon from deep soil layers in a temperate savanna

Fire activity is changing dramatically across the globe, with uncertain effects on ecosystem processes, especially below‐ground. Fire‐driven losses of soil carbon (C) are often assumed to occur primarily in the upper soil layers because the repeated combustion of above‐ground biomass limits organic matter inputs into surface soil. However, C...

Pellegrini, Adam; McLauchlan, Kendra K; Hobbie, Sarah E; Mack, Michelle C.; Marcotte, Abbey L; Nelson, David M.; Perakis, Steven; Reich, Peter B.; Whittinghill, Kyle

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Year Published: 2020

Thresholds for post-wildfire debris flows: Insights from the Pinal Fire, Arizona, USA

Wildfire significantly alters the hydrologic properties of a burned area, leading to increases in overland flow, erosion, and the potential for runoff-generated debris flows. The initiation of debris flows in recently burned areas is well-characterized by rainfall intensity-duration (ID) thresholds. However, there is currently a paucity of data...

Raymond, Carissa A; McGuire, Luke A.; Youberg, Ann M.; Staley, Dennis M.; Kean, Jason W.

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Year Published: 2020

Drivers of landscape change in the northwest boreal region

The northwest boreal region (NWB) of North America is a land of extremes. Extending more than 1.3 million square kilometers (330 million acres), it encompasses the entire spectrum between inundated wetlands below sea level to the tallest peak in North America. Permafrost gradients span from nearly continuous to absent. Boreal ecosystems are...

Markon, Carl; Sesser, Amanda; Rockhill, Aimee P.; Magness, Dawn R; Reid, Don; DeLapp, John; Burton, Phil; Schroff, Eric; Barber, Valerie

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Year Published: 2020

Estimating abiotic thresholds for sagebrush condition class in the western United States

Sagebrush ecosystems of the western United States can transition from extended periods of relatively stable conditions to rapid ecological change if acute disturbances occur. Areas dominated by native sagebrush can transition from species-rich native systems to altered states where non-native annual grasses dominate, if resistance to annual...

Boyte, Stephen P.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Gu, Yingxin; Major, Donald J.

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Year Published: 2020

Size matters, but not consistently

E. Pennisi (“Forest giants are the trees most at risk,” News, 6 September, p. 962) interprets presentations of three studies as suggesting that “for trees, size is not strength, and forest giants are disproportionately vulnerable.” However, this conclusion is not well supported. The observation that lightning is a major cause of large-tree...

Stephenson, Nathan L.; Das, Adrian J.

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Year Published: 2020

Assessing the hydrologic impact of historical railroad embankments on wetland vegetation response in Canaan Valley, WV (USA): The value of high-resolution data

The recovery of natural ecological processes after disturbance is poorly understood. Some disturbances may be so severe as to set ecosystems onto a new trajectory. The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia protects a unique high-altitude wetland that was heavily disturbed by logging 100 years BP and has since transitioned to a...

Young, John A.; Welsch, Daniel; Deacon, Sarah

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Year Published: 2020

Framework for monitoring shrubland community integrity in California Mediterranean type ecosystems: Information for policy makers and land managers

Shrublands in Mediterranean‐type ecosystems worldwide support important ecosystem services including high levels of biodiversity and are threatened by multiple factors in heavily used landscapes. Use, conservation, and management of these landscapes involve diverse stakeholders, making decision processes complex. To be effective, management and...

Lawson, Dawn M.; Keeley, Jon

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Year Published: 2020

Fire, climate and changing forests

A changing climate implies potential transformations in plant demography, communities, and disturbances such as wildfire and insect outbreaks. How do these dynamics play out in terrestrial ecosystems across scales of space and time? “Vegetation type conversion” (VTC) is a term used to describe abrupt and long-lasting changes in vegetation...

Keeley, Jon; van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Falk, Donald A.

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Year Published: 2020

Hydroseeding tackifiers and dryland moss restoration potential

Tackifiers are long‐chain carbon compounds used for soil stabilization and hydroseeding and could provide a vehicle for biological soil crust restoration. We examined the sensitivity of two dryland mosses, Bryum argenteum and Syntrichia ruralis, to three common tackifiers ‐ guar, psyllium, and polyacrylamide (PAM) ‐ at 0.5x, 1....

W. Dillon Blankenship; Condon, Lea A.; Pyke, David A.

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Year Published: 2019

Characterizing 12 years of wildland fire science at the U.S. Geological Survey: Wildland Fire Science Publications, 2006–17

Wildland fire characteristics, such as area burned, number of large fires, burn intensity, and fire season duration, have increased steadily over the past 30 years, resulting in substantial increases in the costs of suppressing fires and managing damages from wildland fire events (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017)....

Steblein, Paul F.; Miller, Mark P.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Steblein, P.F., and Miller, M.P., 2018, Characterizing 12 years of wildland fire science at the U.S. Geological Survey—Wildland fire science publications, 2006–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1002, 67 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191002.

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Year Published: 2019

Wildland Fire Science—Supporting wildland fire and land management

The U.S. Geological Survey's Wildland Fire Science Program produces fundamental information to identify the causes of wildfires, understand the impacts and benefits of both wildfires and prescribed fires, and help prevent and manage larger, catastrophic events. Our fire scientists provide information and develop tools that are widely used by...

Steblein, Paul F.; Miller, Mark P.; Soileau, Suzanna C.
Steblein, P.F., Miller, M.P., and Soileau, S.C., 2019, Wildland fire science---Supporting wildland fire and land management: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3025, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193025.

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Year Published: 2019

Economic effects of wildfire risk reduction and source water protection projects in the Rio Grande River Basin in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado

Investments in landscape-scale restoration and fuels management projects can protect publicly managed trusts, enhance public health and safety, and help to preserve the many environmental goods and services enjoyed by the public. These investments can also support jobs and generate business sales activities within nearby local economies. This...

Huber, Christopher; Cullinane Thomas, Catherine; Meldrum, James R.; Meier, Rachel; Bassett, Steven
Huber, C., Cullinane Thomas, C., Meldrum, J.R., Meier, R., and Bassett, S., 2019, Economic effects of wildfire risk reduction and source water protection projects in the Rio Grande River Basin in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1108, 8 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191108.