Widespread fire years in the US–Mexico Sky Islands are contingent on both winter and monsoon precipitation
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Lab Tree Ring Res
Univ Arizona, Sch Nat Resources & Environm
Univ Arizona, Sch Geog Dev & Environm
monsoon fire regime
North American Monsoon
summer precipitation index
winter precipitation index
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CitationArizpe, A. H., Falk, D. A., Woodhouse, C. A., & Swetnam, T. W. (2021). Widespread fire years in the US–Mexico Sky Islands are contingent on both winter and monsoon precipitation. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 29(12), 1072-1087.
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AbstractThe climate of the south-western United States and northern Mexico borderlands is marked by a bimodal precipitation regime with the majority of moisture arriving during the cool season via Pacific frontal storm systems, and intense convective storms during the North American Monsoon (NAM). The fire season occurs primarily during the arid foresummer in May and June, before the development of the NAM. Most tree-ring studies of fire climatology in the region have evaluated only the role of winter precipitation. We used tree-ring-width-based reconstructions of both winter and monsoon precipitation, coupled with fire scar reconstructions of fire history from mountain ranges in the US and Mexico, to quantify the historical role and interactions of both seasons of precipitation in modulating widespread fire years. Winter precipitation was the primary driver of widespread fire years in the region, but years with drought in both seasons had the highest fire frequency and most widespread fires. These relationships define a unique monsoon fire regime, in which the timing and amount of monsoon precipitation are important factors in limiting the length of fire season and regulating widespread fire years.
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Journal compilation © IAWF 2020 Open Access CC BY-NC-ND