Climatic stress increases forest fire severity across the western United States

115Citations
Citations of this article
214Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

You may have access to this PDF.

This PDF is freely available from an open access repository. It may not have been peer-reviewed.

Abstract

Pervasive warming can lead to chronic stress on forest trees, which may contribute to mortality resulting from fire-caused injuries. Longitudinal analyses of forest plots from across the western US show that high pre-fire climatic water deficit was related to increased post-fire tree mortality probabilities. This relationship between climate and fire was present after accounting for fire defences and injuries, and appeared to influence the effects of crown and stem injuries. Climate and fire interactions did not vary substantially across geographical regions, major genera and tree sizes. Our findings support recent physiological evidence showing that both drought and heating from fire can impair xylem conductivity. Warming trends have been linked to increasing probabilities of severe fire weather and fire spread; our results suggest that warming may also increase forest fire severity (the number of trees killed) independent of fire intensity (the amount of heat released during a fire). Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

van Mantgem, P. J., Nesmith, J. C. B., Keifer, M., Knapp, E. E., Flint, A., & Flint, L. (2013). Climatic stress increases forest fire severity across the western United States. Ecology Letters, 16(9), 1151–1156. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12151

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free