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

Managing burned landscapes: evaluating future management strategies for resilient forests under a warming climate

K. L. Shive A C , P. Z. Fulé A , C. H. Sieg B , B. A. Strom A and M. E. Hunter A

A School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 15018, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA.

B USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2500 Pine Knoll Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA.

C Corresponding author. Email: kls448@nau.edu

International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(7) 915-928 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF13184
Submitted: 29 October 2013  Accepted: 22 April 2014   Published: 13 August 2014

Abstract

Climate change effects on forested ecosystems worldwide include increases in drought-related mortality, changes to disturbance regimes and shifts in species distributions. Such climate-induced changes will alter the outcomes of current management strategies, complicating the selection of appropriate strategies to promote forest resilience. We modelled forest growth in ponderosa pine forests that burned in Arizona’s 2002 Rodeo–Chediski Fire using the Forest Vegetation Simulator Climate Extension, where initial stand structures were defined by pre-fire treatment and fire severity. Under extreme climate change, existing forests persisted for several decades, but shifted towards pinyon–juniper woodlands by 2104. Under milder scenarios, pine persisted with reduced growth. Prescribed burning at 10- and 20-year intervals resulted in basal areas within the historical range of variability (HRV) in low-severity sites that were initially dominated by smaller diameter trees; but in sites initially dominated by larger trees, the range was consistently exceeded. For high-severity sites, prescribed fire was too frequent to reach the HRV’s minimum basal area. Alternatively, for all stands under milder scenarios, uneven-aged management resulted in basal areas within the HRV because of its inherent flexibility to manipulate forest structures. These results emphasise the importance of flexible approaches to management in a changing climate.

Additional keywords: Arizona, Climate–Forest Vegetation Simulator, high severity, juniper, pinyon pine, ponderosa pine, prescribed fire, Rodeo–Chediski, uneven-aged management.


References

Agee JK (2003) Monitoring post-fire tree mortality in mixed-conifer forests of Crater Lake, Oregon, USA. Natural Areas Journal 23, 114–120.

Allen CD, Macalady AK, Chenchouni H, Bachelet D, McDowell N, Vennetier M, Kitzberger T, Rigling A, Breshears DD, Hogg EH, Gonzalez P, Fensham R, Zhang Z, Castro J, Demidova N, Lim J-H, Allard G, Running SW, Semerci A, Cobb N (2010) A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests. Forest Ecology and Management 259, 660–684.
A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests.CrossRef | open url image1

Anderegg WRL, Kane JM, Anderegg LDL (2012) Consequences of widespread tree mortality triggered by drought and temperature stress. Nature Climate Change 3, 30–36.
Consequences of widespread tree mortality triggered by drought and temperature stress.CrossRef | open url image1

Azpeleta A, Fule PZ, Shive KL, Sieg CH, Sanchez Meador AJ, Strom BA Simulating post-wildfire forest trajectories under alternative climate and management scenarios. Ecological Applications
Simulating post-wildfire forest trajectories under alternative climate and management scenarios.CrossRef | open url image1 in press

Battaglia MA, Smith FW, Shepperd WD (2008) Can prescribed fire be used to maintain fuel treatment effectiveness over time in Black Hills ponderosa pine forests? Forest Ecology and Management 256, 2029–2038.
Can prescribed fire be used to maintain fuel treatment effectiveness over time in Black Hills ponderosa pine forests?CrossRef | open url image1

Baumgartner KH, Fulé PZ (2007) Survival and sprouting responses of Chihuahua pine after the Rodeo–Chediski Fire on the Mogollon Rim, Arizona. Western North American Naturalist 67, 51–56.
Survival and sprouting responses of Chihuahua pine after the Rodeo–Chediski Fire on the Mogollon Rim, Arizona.CrossRef | open url image1

Bedia J, Herrera S, Gutiérrez JM (2013) Dangers of using global bioclimatic datasets for ecological niche modeling. Limitations for future climate projections. Global and Planetary Change 107, 1–12.
Dangers of using global bioclimatic datasets for ecological niche modeling. Limitations for future climate projections.CrossRef | open url image1

Bentz BJ, Régnière J, Fettig CJ, Hansen EM, Hayes JL, Hicke JA, Kelsey RG, Negrón JF, Seybold SJ (2010) Climate change and bark beetles of the western United States and Canada: direct and indirect effects. Bioscience 60, 602–613.
Climate change and bark beetles of the western United States and Canada: direct and indirect effects.CrossRef | open url image1

Brown DE, Reichenbacher F, Franson FE (1998) ‘A Classification of North American Biotic Communities.’ (University of Utah Press: Salt Lake City, UT).

Buma B, Wessman CA (2013) Forest resilience, climate change, and opportunities for adaptation: a specific case of a general problem. Forest Ecology and Management 306, 216–225.
Forest resilience, climate change, and opportunities for adaptation: a specific case of a general problem.CrossRef | open url image1

Cochrane MA, Moran CJ, Wimberly MC, Baer AD, Finney MA, Beckendorf KL, Eidenshink J, Zhu Z (2012) Estimation of wildfire size and risk changes due to fuels treatments. International Journal of Wildland Fire 21, 357–367.
Estimation of wildfire size and risk changes due to fuels treatments.CrossRef | open url image1

Cooper CF (1960) Changes in vegetation, structure, and growth of south-western pine forests since white settlement. Ecological Monographs 30, 129–164.
Changes in vegetation, structure, and growth of south-western pine forests since white settlement.CrossRef | open url image1

Covington WW, Moore MM (1994) Southwestern ponderosa pine forest structure – changes since Euro-American settlement. Journal of Forestry 92, 39–47.

Crookston NL, Rehfeldt GE, Dixon GE, Weiskittel AR (2010) Addressing climate change in the forest vegetation simulator to assess impacts on landscape forest dynamics. Forest Ecology and Management 260, 1198–1211.
Addressing climate change in the forest vegetation simulator to assess impacts on landscape forest dynamics.CrossRef | open url image1

Dixon GE (Ed.) (2013) Essential FVS: a user’s guide to the Forest Vegetation Simulator. USDA Forest Service, Forest Management Service Center, Internal Report. (Fort Collins, CO)

Dore S, Kolb TE, Montes-Helu M, Sullivan BW, Winslow WD, Hart SC, Kaye JP, Koch GW, Hungate BA (2008) Long-term impact of a stand-replacing fire on ecosystem CO2 exchange of a ponderosa pine forest. Global Change Biology 14, 1801–1820.
Long-term impact of a stand-replacing fire on ecosystem CO2 exchange of a ponderosa pine forest.CrossRef | open url image1

Elmore FH (1976) ‘Shrubs and Trees of the Southwest Uplands.’ (Southwest Parks and Monuments Association: Tucson, AZ)

Feddema JJ, Mast JN, Savage M (2013) Modeling high-severity fire, drought and climate change impacts on ponderosa pine regeneration. Ecological Modelling 253, 56–69.
Modeling high-severity fire, drought and climate change impacts on ponderosa pine regeneration.CrossRef | open url image1

Finney MA (2007) A computational method for optimising fuel treatment locations. International Journal of Wildland Fire 16, 702–711.
A computational method for optimising fuel treatment locations.CrossRef | open url image1

Finney M, McHugh C, Grenfell I (2005) Stand- and landscape-level effects of prescribed burning on two Arizona wildfires. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 35, 1714–1722.
Stand- and landscape-level effects of prescribed burning on two Arizona wildfires.CrossRef | open url image1

Fulé PZ (2008) Does it make sense to restore wildland fire in changing climate? Restoration Ecology 16, 526–531.
Does it make sense to restore wildland fire in changing climate?CrossRef | open url image1

Fulé PZ, Laughlin DC (2007) Wildland fire effects on forest structure over an altitudinal gradient, Grand Canyon National Park, USA. Journal of Applied Ecology 44, 136–146.
Wildland fire effects on forest structure over an altitudinal gradient, Grand Canyon National Park, USA.CrossRef | open url image1

Fulé PZ, Crouse JE, Cocke AE, Moore MM, Covington WW (2004) Changes in canopy fuels and potential fire behavior 1880–2040: Grand Canyon, Arizona. Ecological Modelling 175, 231–248.
Changes in canopy fuels and potential fire behavior 1880–2040: Grand Canyon, Arizona.CrossRef | open url image1

Fulé PZ, Crouse JE, Roccaforte JP, Kalies EL (2012) Do thinning and/or burning treatments in western USA ponderosa or Jeffrey pine-dominated forests help restore natural fire behavior? Forest Ecology and Management 269, 68–81.
Do thinning and/or burning treatments in western USA ponderosa or Jeffrey pine-dominated forests help restore natural fire behavior?CrossRef | open url image1

Gitlin AR, Sthultz CM, Bowker MA, Stumpf S, Paxton KL, Kennedy K, Munoz A, Bailey JK, Whitham TG (2006) Mortality gradients within and among dominant plant populations as barometers of ecosystem change during extreme drought. Conservation Biology 20, 1477–1486.
Mortality gradients within and among dominant plant populations as barometers of ecosystem change during extreme drought.CrossRef | 17002765PubMed | open url image1

Gray LK, Hamann A (2012) Tracking suitable habitat for tree populations under climate change in western North America. Climatic Change 117, 289–303.
Tracking suitable habitat for tree populations under climate change in western North America.CrossRef | open url image1

Haire SL, McGarigal K (2010) Effects of landscape patterns of fire severity on regenerating ponderosa pine forests (Pinus ponderosa) in New Mexico and Arizona, USA. Landscape Ecology 25, 1055–1069.
Effects of landscape patterns of fire severity on regenerating ponderosa pine forests (Pinus ponderosa) in New Mexico and Arizona, USA.CrossRef | open url image1

Halofsky JE, Hemstrom MA, Conklin DR, Halofsky JS, Kerns BK, Bachelet D (2013) Assessing potential climate change effects on vegetation using a linked model approach. Ecological Modelling 266, 131–143.
Assessing potential climate change effects on vegetation using a linked model approach.CrossRef | open url image1

Heikkinen RK, Luoto M, Araújo MB, Virkkala R, Thuiller W, Sykes MT (2006) Methods and uncertainties in bioclimatic envelope modelling under climate change. Progress in Physical Geography 30, 751–777.
Methods and uncertainties in bioclimatic envelope modelling under climate change.CrossRef | open url image1

Holling CS (1973) Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 4, 1–23.
Resilience and stability of ecological systems.CrossRef | open url image1

Hunter ME, Iniguez JM, Lentile LB (2011) Short- and long-term effects on fuels, forest structure, and wildfire potential from prescribed fire and resource benefit fire in southwestern forests, USA. Fire Ecology 7, 108–121.
Short- and long-term effects on fuels, forest structure, and wildfire potential from prescribed fire and resource benefit fire in southwestern forests, USA.CrossRef | open url image1

Hurteau MD, Brooks ML (2011) Short- and long-term effects of fire on carbon in US dry temperate forest systems. Bioscience 61, 139–146.
Short- and long-term effects of fire on carbon in US dry temperate forest systems.CrossRef | open url image1

IPCC (2013) Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Cambridge University Press: New York)

Jennings M (2013) Climate disruption: are we beyond the worst case scenario? Global Policy 4, 32–42.
Climate disruption: are we beyond the worst case scenario?CrossRef | open url image1

Keane RE, Cary GJ, Davies ID, Flannigan MD, Gardner RH, Lavorel S, Lenihan JM, Li C, Ruppi TS (2004) A classification of landscape fire succession models: spatial simulations of fire and vegetation dynamics. Ecological Modelling 179, 3–27.
A classification of landscape fire succession models: spatial simulations of fire and vegetation dynamics.CrossRef | open url image1

Keane RE, Hessburg PF, Landres PB, Swanson FJ (2009) The use of historical range and variability (HRV) in landscape management. Forest Ecology and Management 258, 1025–1037.
The use of historical range and variability (HRV) in landscape management.CrossRef | open url image1

Keeley JE (2006) Fire management impacts on invasive plants in the western United States. Conservation Biology 20, 375–384.
Fire management impacts on invasive plants in the western United States.CrossRef | 16903098PubMed | open url image1

Kennedy MC, Johnson MC (2014) Fuel treatment prescriptions alter spatial patterns of fire severity around the wildland–urban interface during the Wallow Fire, Arizona, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 318, 122–132.
Fuel treatment prescriptions alter spatial patterns of fire severity around the wildland–urban interface during the Wallow Fire, Arizona, USA.CrossRef | open url image1

Kolb T, Holmberg K, Wagner M, Stone J (1998) Regulation of ponderosa pine foliar physiology and insect resistance mechanisms by basal area treatments. Tree Physiology 18, 375–381.
Regulation of ponderosa pine foliar physiology and insect resistance mechanisms by basal area treatments.CrossRef | 12651362PubMed | open url image1

Kuenzi AM, Fulé PZ, Sieg CH (2008) Effects of fire severity and pre-fire stand treatment on plant community recovery after a large wildfire. Forest Ecology and Management 255, 855–865.
Effects of fire severity and pre-fire stand treatment on plant community recovery after a large wildfire.CrossRef | open url image1

Lenoir J, Gegout JC, Marquet PA, de Ruffray P, Brisse H (2008) A significant upward shift in plant species optimum elevation during the 20th century. Science 320, 1768–1771.
A significant upward shift in plant species optimum elevation during the 20th century.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1cXnsF2qsr8%3D&md5=36454d627d6b14c7ca0ba95cb375a3acCAS | 18583610PubMed | open url image1

Linton M, Sperry J, Williams D (1998) Limits to water transport in Juniperus osteosperma and Pinus edulis: implications for drought tolerance and regulation of transpiration. Functional Ecology 12, 906–911.
Limits to water transport in Juniperus osteosperma and Pinus edulis: implications for drought tolerance and regulation of transpiration.CrossRef | open url image1

Littell JS, McKenzie D, Peterson DL, Westerling AL (2009) Climate and wildfire area burned in western US ecoprovinces, 1916–2003. Ecological Applications 19, 1003–1021.
Climate and wildfire area burned in western US ecoprovinces, 1916–2003.CrossRef | 19544740PubMed | open url image1

Millar CI, Stephenson NL, Stephens SL (2007) Climate change and forests of the future: managing in the face of uncertainty. Ecological Applications 17, 2145–2151.
Climate change and forests of the future: managing in the face of uncertainty.CrossRef | 18213958PubMed | open url image1

Miller JD, Safford H (2012) Trends in wildfire severity: 1984 to 2010 in the Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau, and Southern Cascades, California, USA. Fire Ecology 8, 41–57.
Trends in wildfire severity: 1984 to 2010 in the Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau, and Southern Cascades, California, USA.CrossRef | open url image1

Moyes AB, Castanha C, Germino MJ, Kueppers LM (2013) Warming and the dependence of limber pine (Pinus flexilis) establishment on summer soil moisture within and above its current elevation range. Oecologia 171, 271–282.
Warming and the dependence of limber pine (Pinus flexilis) establishment on summer soil moisture within and above its current elevation range.CrossRef | 22875149PubMed | open url image1

Negrón JF, McMillin JD, Anhold JA, Coulson D (2009) Bark beetle-caused mortality in a drought-affected ponderosa pine landscape in Arizona, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 257, 1353–1362.
Bark beetle-caused mortality in a drought-affected ponderosa pine landscape in Arizona, USA.CrossRef | open url image1

North M, Collins BM, Stephens S (2012) Using fire to increase the scale, benefits, and future maintenance of fuels treatments. Journal of Forestry 110, 392–401.
Using fire to increase the scale, benefits, and future maintenance of fuels treatments.CrossRef | open url image1

Ogle K, Whitham TG, Cobb NS (2000) Tree-ring variation in pinyon predicts likelihood of death following severe drought. Ecology 81, 3237–3243.
Tree-ring variation in pinyon predicts likelihood of death following severe drought.CrossRef | open url image1

Park Williams A, Allen CD, Macalady AK, Griffin D, Woodhouse CA, Meko DM, Swetnam TW, Rauscher SA, Seager R, Grissino-Mayer HD, Dean JS, Cook ER, Gangodagamage C, Cai M, McDowell NG (2012) Temperature as a potent driver of regional forest drought stress and tree mortality. Nature Climate Change 3, 292–297.
Temperature as a potent driver of regional forest drought stress and tree mortality.CrossRef | open url image1

Parmesan C (2006) Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics 37, 637–669.
Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change.CrossRef | open url image1

Pausas JG, Fernandez-Munoz S (2012) Fire regime changes in the Western Mediterranean Basin: from fuel-limited to drought-driven fire regime. Climatic Change 110, 215–226.
Fire regime changes in the Western Mediterranean Basin: from fuel-limited to drought-driven fire regime.CrossRef | open url image1

Pavek DS (1994) Pinus leiophylla var. chihuahuana. In ‘Fire Effects Information System’. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. (Missoula, MT) Available at http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/pinleic/all.html [Verified 4 June 2014]

Pollet J, Omi P (2002) Effect of thinning and prescribed burning on crown fire severity in ponderosa pine forests. International Journal of Wildland Fire 11, 1–10.
Effect of thinning and prescribed burning on crown fire severity in ponderosa pine forests.CrossRef | open url image1

Preisler HK, Hicke JA, Ager AA, Hayes JL (2012) Climate and weather influences on spatial temporal patterns of mountain pine beetle populations in Washington and Oregon. Ecology 93, 2421–2434.
Climate and weather influences on spatial temporal patterns of mountain pine beetle populations in Washington and Oregon.CrossRef | 23236913PubMed | open url image1

Rebain SA (Ed.) (2010) The fire and fuels extension to the forest vegetation simulator: updated model documentation. United States Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Internal Report. (Fort Collins, CO)

Rehfeldt GE, Crookston NL, Warwell MV, Evans JS (2006) Empirical analyses of plant-climate relationships for the western United States. International Journal of Plant Sciences 167, 1123–1150.
Empirical analyses of plant-climate relationships for the western United States.CrossRef | open url image1

Restaino JC, Peterson DL (2013) Wildfire and fuel treatment effects on forest carbon dynamics in the western United States. Forest Ecology and Management 303, 46–60.
Wildfire and fuel treatment effects on forest carbon dynamics in the western United States.CrossRef | open url image1

Roccaforte JP, Fulé PZ, Chancellor WW, Laughlin DC (2012) Woody debris and tree regeneration dynamics following severe wildfires in Arizona ponderosa pine forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 42, 593–604.
Woody debris and tree regeneration dynamics following severe wildfires in Arizona ponderosa pine forests.CrossRef | open url image1

Safford HD, Stevens JT, Merriam K, Meyer MD, Latimer AM (2012) Fuel treatment effectiveness in California yellow pine and mixed conifer forests. Forest Ecology and Management 274, 17–28.
Fuel treatment effectiveness in California yellow pine and mixed conifer forests.CrossRef | open url image1

Savage M, Mast JN (2005) How resilient are south-western ponderosa pine forests after crown fires? Canadian Journal of Forest Research 35, 967–977.
How resilient are south-western ponderosa pine forests after crown fires?CrossRef | open url image1

Savage M, Mast JN, Feddema JJ (2013) Double whammy: high-severity fire and drought in ponderosa pine forests of the Southwest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 43, 570–583.
Double whammy: high-severity fire and drought in ponderosa pine forests of the Southwest.CrossRef | open url image1

Schwilk DW, Keeley JE, Knapp EE, McIver J, Bailey JD, Fettig CJ, Fiedler CE, Harrod RJ, Moghaddas JJ, Outcalt KW (2009) The national Fire and Fire Surrogate study: effects of fuel reduction methods on forest vegetation structure and fuels. Ecological Applications 19, 285–304.
The national Fire and Fire Surrogate study: effects of fuel reduction methods on forest vegetation structure and fuels.CrossRef | 19323191PubMed | open url image1

Seager R, Ting M, Held I, Kushnir Y, Lu J, Vecchi G, Huang H-P, Harnik N, Leetmaa A, Lau N-C, Li C, Velez J, Naik N (2007) Model projections of an imminent transition to a more arid climate in South-western North America. Science 316, 1181–1184.
Model projections of an imminent transition to a more arid climate in South-western North America.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2sXls1Kisb8%3D&md5=b87835429aba96d91bfb63b6e4bc98a0CAS | 17412920PubMed | open url image1

Shive KL, Sieg CH, Fule PZ (2013) Pre-wildfire management treatments interact with fire severity to have lasting effects on post-wildfire vegetation response. Forest Ecology and Management 297, 75–83.
Pre-wildfire management treatments interact with fire severity to have lasting effects on post-wildfire vegetation response.CrossRef | open url image1

Stoddard M (2011) Fact sheet: historical forest structural characteristics review, (Ecological Restoration Institute: Flagstaff, AZ) Available at http://nau.edu/ERI/Publications-Media/Fact-Sheets/ [Verified 4 June 2014]

Strom BA (2005) Pre-fire treatment effects and post-fire forest dynamics on the Rodeo–Chediski burn area, Arizona. (Northern Arizona University) Available at http://library.eri.nau.edu/gsdl/collect/erilibra/index/assoc./HASH78fb.dir/doc.pdf [Verified 4 June 2014]

Strom BA, Fulé PZ (2007) Pre-wildfire fuel treatments affect long-term ponderosa pine forest dynamics. International Journal of Wildland Fire 16, 128–138.
Pre-wildfire fuel treatments affect long-term ponderosa pine forest dynamics.CrossRef | open url image1

Sturrock RN (2012) Climate change and forest diseases: using today’s knowledge to address future challenges. Forest Systems 21, 329–336.
Climate change and forest diseases: using today’s knowledge to address future challenges.CrossRef | open url image1

Swetnam TW, Baisan CH (2003) Tree-ring reconstructions of fire and climate history in the Sierra Nevada and Southwestern United States. In ‘Fire and Climate in Temperate Ecosystems of the Western Americas’. (Eds TT Veblen, WL Baker, G Montenegro, TW Swetnam) pp.158–195. (Springer-Verlag: New York).

Thompson JR, Spies TA, Ganio LM (2007) Reburn severity in managed and unmanaged vegetation in a large wildfire. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104, 10 743–10 748.
Reburn severity in managed and unmanaged vegetation in a large wildfire.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2sXnt1ylurk%3D&md5=69459032149d8c877d4585ac16f81bacCAS | open url image1

van Mantgem PJ, Stephenson NL, Byrne JC, Daniels LD, Franklin JF, Fule PZ, Harmon ME, Larson AJ, Smith JM, Taylor AH, Veblen TT (2009) Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the western United States. Science 323, 521–524.
Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the western United States.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1MXntFWktg%3D%3D&md5=33ded5a76fe17bfd7161f9e9c3d7e60fCAS | 19164752PubMed | open url image1

Westerling AL, Hidalgo HG, Cayan DR, Swetnam TW (2006) Warming and earlier spring increase western US forest wildfire activity. Science 313, 940–943.
Warming and earlier spring increase western US forest wildfire activity.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD28XotFCitbo%3D&md5=33f81a6860735590a245ddafe692ee24CAS | 16825536PubMed | open url image1

Woods A, Coates K, Hamann A (2005) Is an unprecedented dothistroma needle blight epidemic related to climate change? Bioscience 55, 761–769.
Is an unprecedented dothistroma needle blight epidemic related to climate change?CrossRef | open url image1

Woolsey TS (1911) Western yellow pine in Arizona and New Mexico. USDA Forest Service, Bulletin 101.



Export Citation