Historical wildfire impacts on ponderosa pine tree overstories: an Arizona case study

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U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2008 - Nature - 20 pages
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The Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire--the largest in Arizona's history--damaged or destroyed ecosystem resources and disrupted ecosystem functioning in a largely mosaic pattern throughout the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests exposed to the burn. Impacts of this wildfire on tree overstories were studied for 5 years (2002 to 2007) on two watersheds in the area burned. One watershed was burned by a high severity (stand-replacing) fire, while the other watershed was burned by a low severity (stand-modifying) fire. In this paper, we focus on the effects of the wildfire on stand structures, post-fire mortality of fire-damaged trees, and stocking of tree reproduction. We also present a fire severity classification system based on the fire-damaged tree crowns and a retrospective description of fire behavior on the two burned watersheds.

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