Anticipating future forest-fire regimes under changing climate requires that scientists and natural resource managers understand the factors that control fire across space and time. Fire scars - proxy records of fires, formed in the growth rings of long-lived trees - provide an annually accurate window into past low-severity fire regimes. In western North America, networks of the fire-scar records spanning centuries to millennia now include hundreds to thousands of trees sampled across hundreds to many thousands of hectares. Development of these local and regional fire-scar networks has created a new data type for ecologists interested in landscape and climate regulation of ecosystem processes - which, for example, may help to explain why forest fires are widespread during certain years but not others. These data also offer crucial reference information on fire as a dynamic landscape process for use in ecosystem management, especially when managing for forest structure and resilience to climate change.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics