Fire and Animal Interactions

Kevin E. Shaffer and William F. Laudenslaye

in Fire in California's Ecosystems

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246058
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932272 | DOI:
Fire and Animal Interactions

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This chapter investigates how fire affects animals that inhabit different habitats, terrestrial and aquatic animal populations and communities, and animal habitat structure, composition, and function. The temporal, spatial, and magnitude attributes of a fire all influence animals and their habitat. Many surface fauna try to escape fire by sequestering themselves inside or under surface features. Seasonality of fire and fire return interval can have a dramatic effect on reproductive viability. Reproduction and survival of animal species with extended breeding and foraging seasons may be significantly affected by a long fire season. The kinds of interactions that can occur between fire and ecosystem and possible ramifications at the broader ecological levels are elaborated. Many animal populations and communities in California have adapted and persist in a fire-prone environment. Fire affects a myriad of animals both directly and indirectly through effects on their habitats.

Keywords: fire; fauna; California; habitats; reproduction; survival; breeding; foraging

Chapter.  18353 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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