Chapter

South Coast Bioregion

Jon E. Keeley

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246058.003.0015
South Coast Bioregion

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This chapter investigates the South Coast bioregion in Southern California. There are two broad ecological zones: the coastal valleys and foothill zone and the montane zone. Grasslands are resilient to a wide range of fire frequencies. Fire regimes in big-cone Douglas-fir forests vary spatially and temporally. Lodgepole pine forests are at the highest end of the elevational gradient for forests exposed to fire on any regular basis. Landscape scale prescription burning on a rotational basis is a questionable management strategy in this bioregion. A broader application of fuel manipulations may be warranted for managing fires that occur under mild weather conditions and are not wind-driven events. Regardless of how climate affects fuels, based on current patterns of burning it appears that throughout this region the primary threat to future fire regimes is more tied to future patterns of human demography than to climate.

Keywords: South Coast; Southern California; fire; Douglas-fir forests; lodgepole pine forests; fuel; climate

Chapter.  27655 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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