The influences of drought and humans on the fire regimes of northern Pennsylvania, USA

Patrick Hugh Brose, Daniel C. Dey, Richard P. Guyette, Joseph M. Marschall, Michael C. Stambaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding past fire regimes is necessary to justify and implement restoration of disturbance-associated forests via prescribed fire programs. In eastern North America, the characteristics of many presettlement fire regimes are unclear because of the passage of time. To help clarify this situation, we developed a 435-year fire history for the former conifer forests of northern Pennsylvania. Ninety-three cross sections of fire-scarred red pines (Pinus resinosa Aiton) collected from three sites were analyzed to determine common fire regime characteristics. Prior to European settlement, fires occurred every 35-50 years and were often large dormant-season burns that sometimes initiated red pine regeneration. American Indians probably ignited these fires. Fire occurrence had a weak association with multiyear droughts. After European settlement started around 1800, fires occurred every 5-7 years due to widespread logging. Fire size and seasonality expanded to include small growing-season fires. The weak drought-fire association ceased. In the early 1900s, logging ended and wildfire control began. Since then, fires have been nearly absent from the sites despite several multiyear droughts in the 20th century. The human influences of cultural burning, logging, and fire exclusion are more important than the influence of drought to the fire regimes of northern Pennsylvania.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-767
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume43
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 6 2013

Fingerprint

fire regime
drought
logging
Pinus
Pinus resinosa
American Indians
prescribed burning
wildfires
coniferous forests
fire history
growing season
wildfire
coniferous tree
seasonality

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Ecology

Cite this

Brose, P. H., Dey, D. C., Guyette, R. P., Marschall, J. M., & Stambaugh, M. C. (2013). The influences of drought and humans on the fire regimes of northern Pennsylvania, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 43(8), 757-767. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2012-0463
Brose, Patrick Hugh ; Dey, Daniel C. ; Guyette, Richard P. ; Marschall, Joseph M. ; Stambaugh, Michael C. / The influences of drought and humans on the fire regimes of northern Pennsylvania, USA. In: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 2013 ; Vol. 43, No. 8. pp. 757-767.
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The influences of drought and humans on the fire regimes of northern Pennsylvania, USA. / Brose, Patrick Hugh; Dey, Daniel C.; Guyette, Richard P.; Marschall, Joseph M.; Stambaugh, Michael C.

In: Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 43, No. 8, 06.08.2013, p. 757-767.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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