On Friday 9/18, Tim will give a talk entitled “The legacies of fire in forest ecosystems: initiating change from local to landscape scales” as part of the Department of Biological Sciences Fall Seminar series at Kent State University.
Wildfire is a natural disturbance process that governs the composition and structure of many forest ecosystems and recovery takes place over time along well-understood successional trajectories. Forest response is governed by life-history traits and materials legacies, which in resilient systems will enable recovery to a predisturbance state. However, disturbance regimes are in a phase of rapid change which has introduced uncertainty into these trajectories. Where resilience processes have been overwhelmed, one potential outcome is forest conversion. I will discuss two case studies (Jemez Mountains, New Mexico and Tolhuaca National Park, Chile) that illustrate the utility of remote sensing toward our understanding of the ecological legacies of fire.
Header image: Image from NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera on NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite, acquired Sept. 2020, showing smoke in western US from recent wildfires.