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Past and present vulnerability of closed-canopy temperate forests to altered fire regimes: a comparison of the Pacific Northwest, New Zealand, and Patagonia

Citation

Whitlock, C and McWethy, DB and Tepley, AJ and Veblen, TT and Holz, A and McGlone, MS and Perry, GLW and Wilmshurst, JM and Wood, SW, Past and present vulnerability of closed-canopy temperate forests to altered fire regimes: a comparison of the Pacific Northwest, New Zealand, and Patagonia, Bioscience, 65, (2) pp. 151-163. ISSN 0006-3568 (2014) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2014 The Authors-distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI: doi:10.1093/biosci/biu194

Abstract

The relative importance of people and climate in shaping prehistoric fire regimes is debated around the world, and this discussion has helped inform our understanding of past and present ecosystem dynamics. Evidence for extensive anthropogenic burning of temperate closed-canopy forests prior to European settlement is geographically variable, and the factors responsible for this variability are not well resolved. We set out to explain the differences in the influence of prehistoric human-set fires in seasonally dry forest types in the Pacific Northwest, New Zealand, and northern Patagonia by comparing the fire traits of dominant taxa, postfire vegetation recovery, long-term climate trends, and human activities that may have motivated burning. Our analysis suggests that ecological and climatic factors explain much of the differences in how these mesic–dry forests responded to prehistoric anthropogenic burning. Understanding past human–environment interactions at regional scales is an important step for assessing the impact of biomass burning at all scales.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fire history, vegetation flammability, prehistoric anthropogenic burning, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Nothofagus forest fire regimes, ecology
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological Applications
Research Field:Landscape Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
Author:Holz, A (Dr Andres Holz)
Author:Wood, SW (Mr Samuel Wood)
ID Code:98030
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2015-01-29
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:128 View Download Statistics

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