Fire-driven vegetation change

Type: Paper
Theme:
Sponsor Groups: Biogeography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Regency Ballroom, Omni, West
Organizers: Lucas Harris, Alan Taylor, Anthony Zhao
Chairs: Lucas Harris

Call for Submissions

The goal of this session is to explore the role of fire in initiating and maintaining vegetation change, and how this role varies among different ecosystems and plant communities worldwide. We welcome presentations which explore aspects of fire-vegetation-climate interactions, the drivers of post-fire vegetation recovery, and the past, present and/or future of vegetation dynamics in fire-prone landscapes. If you are interested in participating in this session please contact Lucas Harris (lbh146@psu.edu).


Description

Plant species distributions and abundances are often described in relation to climate, soils and topography. However, fire may trigger vegetation change and may also maintain altered vegetation compositions and structures through interactions between fire, vegetation and climate.

Increasing area burned and area burned at high severity observed in different ecosystems worldwide over the past 30 years raises the possibility of fire emerging as an increasingly influential driver of vegetation change at a range of spatial scales. Factors like regional warming and drying and fuel buildup from fire suppression or land use change are changing fire severity and frequency. In many areas invasive species are further altering fire regimes, often reinforcing novel plant communities. Against this backdrop of altered fuels and climate, changing patterns of human ignitions are affecting what gets burned and when.

Trajectories of vegetation recovery following fires are changing too, especially given unusual fire severity patterns, changes in water stress and water availability, and the presence of invasive species. The drivers of fire severity and frequency as well as post-fire vegetation recovery are complex, and interactions among these drivers produce sometimes unexpected vegetation change. Considering the legacy effects of past land use and fire history are often critical to understanding current vegetation composition and structure. Likewise, an understanding of how plant communities are responding to climate and land use change is critical to anticipating future change.

The goal of this session is to explore the role of fire in initiating and maintaining vegetation change, and how this role varies among different ecosystems and plant communities worldwide. Presentations are welcome which explore aspects of fire-vegetation-climate interactions, the drivers of post-fire vegetation recovery, and the past, present and/or future of vegetation dynamics in fire-prone landscapes.


Agenda

Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Tom Saladyga*, Concord University, Appalachian coalfields pyrogeography 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Lucas Harris*, Pennsylvania State University, Alan Taylor, Pennsylvania State University, Past forest change, patterns of post-fire tree regeneration and potential for fire-initiated forest loss at a dry forest ecotone 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Alex Marden*, University of Texas at Austin, Kelley A Crews Meyer, University of Texas at Austin, Thoralf Meyer, University of Texas at Austin, Thomas Christiansen, University of Texas at Austin , Multi-scale spatiotemporal assessment of fire/vegetation dynamics in a savanna system 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Timothy Assal*, US Geological Survey, Collin Haffey, The Nature Conservancy, Ellis Margolis, US Geological Survey, Craig Allen, US Geological Survey, Big fires lead to big changes in the vegetation structure of the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Charles W. Lafon*, Texas A & M University, Adam T. Naito, University of Arizona, Sally P. Horn, University of Tennessee, Thomas A. Waldrop, US Forest Service (retired), Changing Fire Regimes and Their Implications for Vegetation Dynamics in the Appalachian Mountains 20 9:20 AM

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