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Western Geographic Science Center

 

Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project (MHDP): Impact of Past Fire Activity on Vegetation Type Conversion




There is increasing concern that accelerated fire activity is responsible for major losses of natural shrubland ecosystems and replacement by non-native annual grasses and forbs. This change in fuel structure has profound impacts on fire behavior. Also, loss of native shrublands greatly decreases the structural complexity of communities and landscapes, and is responsible for the loss of critical components of the flora and fauna, including rare species as well as keystone species. Documenting the massive scale of past type conversion would be a critical first warning to future hazards and will be accomplished using the 35-year Landsat database. A second project is a continuation of the biodiversity and trophic response and recovery from the landscape fires study started in 2005 in San Diego. This five-year study would address these presumed changes in flora and fauna to the vegetation type conversion. This study is unique in that USGS had collected extensive pre-burn data across trophic levels for contrasting to the post-burn findings.

For more information contact: Photo of Cynthia S.A. Wallace
Cynthia S.A. Wallace

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