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It is difficult to find references to fire in general textbooks on ecology, conservation biology or biogeography, in spite of the fact that large parts of the world burn on a regular basis, and that there is a considerable literature on the ecology of fire and its use for managing ecosystems. Fire has been burning ecosystems for hundreds of millions of(More)
The 2007 wildfire season in southern California burned over 1,000,000 ac (ϳ400,000 ha) and included several megafires. We use the 2007 fires as a case study to draw three major lessons about wildfires and wildfire complexity in southern California. First, the great majority of large fires in southern California occur in the autumn under the influence of(More)
Fire management practices affect alien plant invasions in diverse ways. I considered the impact of six fire management practices on alien invasions: fire suppression, forest fuel reduction, prescription burning in crown-fire ecosystems, fuel breaks, targeting of noxious aliens, and postfire rehabilitation. Most western United States forests have had fire(More)
In Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs), fire disturbance influences the distribution of most plant communities, and altered fire regimes may be more important than climate factors in shaping future MTE vegetation dynamics. Models that simulate the high-frequency fire and post-fire response strategies characteristic of these regions will be important tools(More)
Fire is a worldwide phenomenon that appears in the geological record soon after the appearance of terrestrial plants. Fire influences global ecosystem patterns and processes, including vegetation distribution and structure, the carbon cycle, and climate. Although humans and fire have always coexisted, our capacity to manage fire remains imperfect and may(More)
Periodic wildfire maintains the integrity and species composition of many ecosystems, including the mediterranean-climate shrublands of California. However, human activities alter natural fire regimes, which can lead to cascading ecological effects. Increased human ignitions at the wildland-urban interface (WUI) have recently gained attention, but fire(More)
  • David M J S Bowman, Jennifer Balch, Paulo Artaxo, William J Bond, Mark A Cochrane, Carla M D'Antonio +13 others
  • 2011
Humans and their ancestors are unique in being a fire-making species, but 'natural' (i.e. independent of humans) fires have an ancient, geological history on Earth. Natural fires have influenced biological evolution and global biogeo-chemical cycles, making fire integral to the functioning of some biomes. Globally, debate rages about the impact on(More)
We evaluate the fine-grain age patch model of fire regimes in southern California shrublands. Proponents contend that the historical condition was characterized by frequent small to moderate size, slow-moving smoldering fires, and that this regime has been disrupted by fire suppression activities that have caused unnatural fuel accumulation and anomalously(More)
Simple models of plant response to warming climates predict vegetation moving to cooler and/or wetter locations: in mountainous regions shifting upslope. However, species-specific responses to climate change are likely to be much more complex. We re-examined a recently reported vegetation shift in the Santa Rosa Mountains, California, to better understand(More)
Surging wildfires across the globe are contributing to escalating residential losses and have major social, economic, and ecological consequences. The highest losses in the U.S. occur in southern California, where nearly 1000 homes per year have been destroyed by wildfires since 2000. Wildfire risk reduction efforts focus primarily on fuel reduction and, to(More)