Chapter

The Future of Fire in California’s Ecosystems

Neil G. Sugihara, Jan W. Van Wagtendonk, Joann Fiteskaufman, Kevin E. Shaffer and Andrea E. Thode

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/9780520246058.003.0024
The Future of Fire in California’s Ecosystems

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This chapter reviews the concepts developed in the book and challenges Californians to accept the fact that they live in fire-prone ecosystems. California’s variety of fire regimes are products of its wide diversity of vegetation, climate, topography, and ignitions. The role fire plays in an ecosystem is characterized by the fire regime attributes that describe the pattern of fire occurrence, behavior, and effects. California has a diverse flora comprised of plants that have evolved under a variety of climates and evolutionary pressures. The most universal changes to California’s ecosystems during the historic period have been the alteration of past fire regimes and changes in the pattern of fire on the landscape. Ecosystems change, and it is a mistake to manage any complex, dynamic ecosystem for a single, static state or condition.

Keywords: fire; California; ecosystems; flora; landscape; vegetation; climate; topography; ignitions

Chapter.  5575 words. 

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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