International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Tundra avian community composition during recovery from the Anaktuvuk River Fire

Jonathan H. Pérez A B , Helen E. Chmura A and Jesse S. Krause A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

B Corresponding author. Email: jonathan.perez@abdn.ac.uk

International Journal of Wildland Fire 27(1) 69-71 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF17159
Submitted: 9 August 2017  Accepted: 30 November 2017   Published: 24 January 2018

Abstract

In 2007, a fire burned over 100 000 ha along the Anaktuvuk River in Alaska, causing widespread ecological disturbance. Despite efforts to understand ecosystem recovery, little is known about higher trophic levels. Here, we present qualitative findings from a preliminary bird survey of the burn scar region, conducted in 2014, at three sites representing varying severity of burn damage. We found that abundance and species richness both appear higher at a site that experienced a moderate degree of burn damage than unburned control and severely burned sites. These findings suggest that the impacts of fires on bird communities may be minimal within 7 years post fire. Furthermore, our findings highlight the need for more rigorous efforts to understand the dynamics of tundra bird community fire recovery in a rapidly changing world.

Keywords: Arctic, birds, fire recovery, tundra fire.


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