Dylan W. Schwilk

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Ecologists and conservation biologists have historically used species-area and distance-decay relationships as tools to predict the spatial distribution of biodiversity and the impact of habitat loss on biodiversity. These tools treat each species as evolutionarily equivalent, yet the importance of species' evolutionary history in their ecology and(More)
Changes in vegetation and fuels were evaluated from measurements taken before and after fuel reduction treatments (prescribed fire, mechanical treatments, and the combination of the two) at 12 Fire and Fire Surrogate (FFS) sites located in forests with a surface fire regime across the conterminous United States. To test the relative effectiveness of fuel(More)
In the course of an adaptive radiation, the evolution of niche parameters is of particular interest for understanding modes of speciation and the consequences for coexistence of related species within communities. We pose a general question: In the course of an evolutionary radiation, do traits related to within-community niche differences (alpha niche)(More)
By affecting local fire intensities or the probability of ignition, traits that influence plant flammability may indirectly control selection for fire-related life-history and physiological traits. The retention of dead branches in the canopy has been cited as contributing to plant flammability. No experiment, however, has demonstrated that differences in(More)
Many woody plant species that depend upon fire-cued seed germination lack the ability to resprout. As the ability to resprout is widely assumed to be the ancestral condition in most plant groups, the failure to sprout is an evolutionary derived trait. Models for the evolutionary loss of sprouting assume a trade-off between seedling success and vegetative(More)
• The mapping of functional traits onto chronograms is an emerging approach for the identification of how agents of natural selection have shaped the evolution of organisms. Recent research has reported fire-dependent traits appearing among flowering plants from 60 million yr ago (Ma). Although there are many records of fossil charcoal in the Cretaceous(More)
The intermediate disturbance hypothesis is a widely accepted generalization regarding patterns of species diversity, but may not hold true where fire is the disturbance. In the Mediterranean-climate shrublands of South Africa, called fynbos, fire is the most importance disturbance and a controlling factor in community dynamics. The intermediate disturbance(More)
Although the majority of fires in the western United States historically occurred during the late summer or early fall when fuels were dry and plants were dormant or nearly so, early-season prescribed burns are often ignited when fuels are still moist and plants are actively growing. The purpose of this study was to determine if burn season influences(More)
We collected data at seven sites in the western US, on the costs of fuel reduction operations (prescribed fire, mechanical treatment, mechanical plus fire), and measured the effects of these treatments on surface fuel and stand parameters. We also modeled the potential behavior of wildfire in the treated and control stands. Gross costs of mechanical(More)