Fire history and climatic patterns in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of the Jemez Mountains, Northern New Mexico

U.S. Forest Service General Technical Report RM-GTR-286
By: , and 
Edited by: Craig D. Allen

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Abstract

We reconstructed fire history in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests across the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico. We collected fire-scarred samples from ten ponderosa pine areas, and three mesic mixed-conifer areas. Prior to 1900, ponderosa pine forests were characterized by high frequency, low intensity surface fire regimes. The mixed-conifer stands sustained somewhat less frequent surface fires, along with patchy crown fires. We also examined the associations between past fires and winter-spring precipitation. In both ponderosa pine and mixed- conifer forests, precipitation was significantly reduced in the winter-spring period immediately prior to fire occurrence. In addition, winter-spring precipitation during the second year preceding major fire years in the ponderosa pine forest was significantly increased. The results of this study pro- vide baseline knowledge concerning the ecological role of fire in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests. This information is vital to support ongoing ecosystem management efforts in the Jemez Mountains.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Fire history and climatic patterns in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of the Jemez Mountains, Northern New Mexico
Series title U.S. Forest Service General Technical Report
Series number RM-GTR-286
DOI 10.2737/RM-GTR-286
Year Published 1996
Language English
Publisher USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
Publisher location Fort Collins, CO
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 14 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Federal Government Series
Larger Work Title Fire effects in southwestern forests: Proceedings of the second La Mesa Fire symposium (U.S. Forest Service General Technical Report RM-GTR-286)
First page 33
Last page 46
Conference Title Second La Mesa Fire symposium
Conference Location Los Alamos, NM
Conference Date March 29-31, 1996
Country United States
State New Mexico
Other Geospatial Jemex Mountains
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