Fire in eastern ecosystems

General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-42- 4
By: , and 



Prior to Euro-American settlement, fire was a ubiquitous force across most of the Eastern United States. Fire regimes spanned a time-scale from chronic to centuries. Fire severity varied from benign to extreme (fig. 1-2). Today, fire is still a major force on the landscape. In some ecosystems fire stabilizes succession at a particular sere, while in others, succession is set back to pioneer species. The wide range in fire regimes coupled with elevation and moisture gradients produce a myriad of plant communities  that continually change over time in both stature and composition, although it is not uncommon for the major species to remain dominant. Discussion is primarily about major vegetation types, for example, oak-hickory. However, some minor types such as spruce-fir and Table Mountain pine are also covered. Vegetation types are discussed under the most representative fire regime type, recognizing that some vegetation types overlap two fire regime types (table 4-1).

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Fire in eastern ecosystems
Series title General Technical Report
Series number RMRS-GTR-42
Chapter 4
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher U. S. Department of Agriculture
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 44 p.
First page 53
Last page 96
Country United States
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