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Identification of Fire Refugia in Rocky Mountain Ecosystems of the U.S. and Canada: Development and Application of the Refugium Concept for Biodiversity Conservation over Large Spatial and Temporal Scales

Author(s): Geneva W. Chong
Year Published: 2015

The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of findings and products from our FY2014 research project on fire refugia. We summarize the products and findings of our work, including: development of regional datasets; use of a climate space framework to select sample fires; development of fire refugia models across the climate space; development of fire refugia models within case study fires; and a development of a conceptual model that outlines our current endeavor to understand the formation of fire refugia under different fire environments.

We described the climate space of fire regimes in northwestern North America (Whitman and others 2015), and we are refining an approach to identify fire refugia – areas that do not burn or burn with lower severity through multiple fire events. We continue our collaboration to test the function of refugia for biodiversity conservation under current and future climate and fire scenarios. We continue to seek funding to support development of products to inform decision-making in land/easement acquisition, identification of critical areas for maintaining landscape and process connectivity/permeability, and extension of the temporal context for spatial conservation decision making. The approach is testable for transferability to other locations and ecosystems such as sagebrush-steppe, which have parallel issues.

Citation: Geneva W Chong(Principal Investigator), Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative(administrator), LCC Network Data Steward(administrator), 2015-10-02(creation), 2017-10-27(lastUpdate), 2015(Acquisition), Final Reports: Identification of fire refugia in Rocky Mountain ecosystems of the U.S. and Canada: Development and application of the refugium concept for biodiversity conservation over large spatial and temporal scales. (report online)
Topic(s): Fire Regime, Climate and Fire Regime Change, Fire Intensity / Burn Severity, Fire and Landscape Mosaics
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 18923
Record updated: Feb 27, 2019