Fire History of Montane Grasslands and Ecotones of the Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA
AuthorDewar, Jacqueline Joy
AdvisorFalk, Donald A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoEmbargo: Release after 07/09/2012
AbstractWe reconstructed historical fire regimes of montane forest-grassland ecotones in the ~40,000 ha Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico. We used a targeted approach to sample ancient fire-scarred trees along the ecotone, and compared variations in historical fire occurrence within and among valles in the grassland-forest. The resulting tree-ring record extends from 1240-2008 C.E., comprised of 2,443 fire scars from 330 trees representing 238 fire years during the period of analysis, 1601-1902 C.E. Our results confirm pre-1900 historical occurrence of high-frequency, low-severity surface fires over multiple centuries in the ecotone. Mean fire intervals for all fires were 5.5-22.5 years (~6-123 ha) at individual sites, 2.7-10 years (~67-4955 ha) in individual valles, and 1.6 years (~10 386 ha) across the landscape. Synchronous fires burned extensively and occurred at ~10 year intervals during years with significantly low PDSI. Results will be useful in planning forest/grassland restoration actions and reinstituting fire regimes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College