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Effects of prescribed and wildland fire on aquatic ecosystems in western forests - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program

Author(s): David S. Pilliod, R. Bruce Bury, Paul S. Corn
Year Published: 2005

The goal of the project is to understand how fire in upland and riparian forests influence stream communities and whether prescription burning mimics the ecological function of fire in a watershed. The project has two components: wildland fire and prescribed fire. To document the range of biotic and abiotic responses to wildland fires, we are comparing stream communities and habitat conditions in watersheds that burned, at varying intensities, to streams in unburned forests (fires absent for 50-70 yrs). To determine whether prescription burning restores the ecological integrity of forests, we are monitoring stream communities and habitat conditions before and after spring and fall aerial-ignition broadcast burns and comparing observed responses to unburned and wildfire-burned reference streams during the same time periods. Responses by amphibians, macroinvertebrates, periphyton, and habitat conditions are correlated with burn severity across each watershed. Analyses are focusing on comparisons among streams within local regions.

Citation: Pilliod, David S.; Bury, R.B.; Corn, Paul S. 2005. Effects of prescribed and wildland fire on aquatic ecosystems in western forests. Joint Fire Science Project 01-1-3-12. Corvallis, OR: USGS, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center. 10 p.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - First Order, Fire Intensity / Burn Severity, Ecological - Second Order, Aquatic Life, Water, Fire & Wildlife, Fish, Amphibians, Fire Regime
Ecosystem(s): Riparian woodland/shrubland
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 11161
FRAMES RCS number: 386
Record updated: May 10, 2018