Spatiotemporal patterns of unburned areas within fire perimeters in the northwestern United States from 1984 to 2014

Spatiotemporal patterns of unburned areas within fire perimeters in the northwestern United... A warming climate, fire exclusion, and land cover changes are altering the conditions that produced historical fire regimes and facilitating increased recent wildfire activity in the northwestern United States. Understanding the impacts of changing fire regimes on forest recruitment and succession, species distributions, carbon cycling, and ecosystem services is critical, but challenging across broad spatial scales. One important and understudied aspect of fire regimes is the unburned area within fire perimeters; these areas can function as fire refugia across the landscape during and after wildfire by providing habitat and seed sources. With increasing fire activity, there is speculation that fire intensity and combustion completeness are also increasing, which we hypothesized would yield smaller unburned proportions and changes in fire refugia patterns. We sought to determine (1) whether the unburned proportion of wildfires decreased across the northwestern United States from 1984 to 2014 and (2) whether patterns of unburned patches were significantly different across ecoregions, land cover type, and land ownership. We utilized a Landsat‐derived geospatial database of unburned islands within 2298 fires across the inland northwestern USA (including eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, and Idaho) from 1984 to 2014. We evaluated patterns of the total unburned proportion and spatial patterns of unburned patches of the fires across different ecoregions, land cover types, and land ownership. We found that unburned area proportion exhibited no change over the three decades, suggesting that recent trends in area burned and overall severity have not affected fire refugia, important to post‐fire ecosystem recovery. There were ecoregional differences in mean unburned proportion, patch area, and patch density, suggesting influences of vegetation and topography on the formation of unburned area. These foundation findings suggest that complex drivers control unburned island formation, and yield insights to locate potential important fire refugia across the inland northwest. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecosphere Wiley

Spatiotemporal patterns of unburned areas within fire perimeters in the northwestern United States from 1984 to 2014

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/spatiotemporal-patterns-of-unburned-areas-within-fire-perimeters-in-V0d8C1mUTZ
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2018 The Ecological Society of America
ISSN
2150-8925
eISSN
2150-8925
D.O.I.
10.1002/ecs2.2029
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A warming climate, fire exclusion, and land cover changes are altering the conditions that produced historical fire regimes and facilitating increased recent wildfire activity in the northwestern United States. Understanding the impacts of changing fire regimes on forest recruitment and succession, species distributions, carbon cycling, and ecosystem services is critical, but challenging across broad spatial scales. One important and understudied aspect of fire regimes is the unburned area within fire perimeters; these areas can function as fire refugia across the landscape during and after wildfire by providing habitat and seed sources. With increasing fire activity, there is speculation that fire intensity and combustion completeness are also increasing, which we hypothesized would yield smaller unburned proportions and changes in fire refugia patterns. We sought to determine (1) whether the unburned proportion of wildfires decreased across the northwestern United States from 1984 to 2014 and (2) whether patterns of unburned patches were significantly different across ecoregions, land cover type, and land ownership. We utilized a Landsat‐derived geospatial database of unburned islands within 2298 fires across the inland northwestern USA (including eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, and Idaho) from 1984 to 2014. We evaluated patterns of the total unburned proportion and spatial patterns of unburned patches of the fires across different ecoregions, land cover types, and land ownership. We found that unburned area proportion exhibited no change over the three decades, suggesting that recent trends in area burned and overall severity have not affected fire refugia, important to post‐fire ecosystem recovery. There were ecoregional differences in mean unburned proportion, patch area, and patch density, suggesting influences of vegetation and topography on the formation of unburned area. These foundation findings suggest that complex drivers control unburned island formation, and yield insights to locate potential important fire refugia across the inland northwest.

Journal

EcosphereWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off