Skip to main content

Effects of an Intense Wildfire in a Mexican Oak-Pine Forest

Buy Article:

$21.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

An oak-pine forest burned by intense wildfire in April, 1996, and a companion unburned area were sampled 1 month and 1 yr postfire in La Michilía Biosphere Reserve, Durango, Mexico. Up to 90% of the trees were killed or top-killed in the burned area, but larger trees tended to survive, so basal area was only reduced by 66%. Top-killing was relatively higher among fire-susceptible oaks and lower among fire-resistant pines. However, oaks were strong resprouters both in the canopy and at the base of top-killed trees. Damage codes based on crown scorch and bole char were highly accurate when predicting that a tree would die but substantially overestimated survivors. Most tree regeneration was top-killed in the fire, but oak sprout density was 700% that of the unburned area by 1 yr postfire. Manzanita shrubs also resprouted vigorously. Herbaceous production and cover were lower after the first postfire growing season in the burned area than the unburned area. Woody fuels and forest floor depth were also reduced. Although short-term fire effects indicate that the forest ecosystem has moved closer toward a savanna condition, remnant seed trees and sprouting trees are expected to maintain forest cover. Future herbaceous production is likely to increase in response to overstory mortality. Quantification of fire effects is helpful for supporting short-term management decisions since oak-pine forests cover millions of hectares in northern Mexico. As a long-term management strategy, however, we suggest that restoring the frequent, low-intensity fire regime may be desirable for ecological and economic reasons. For. Sci. 46(1):52-61.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Juniper; Sierra Madre Occidental; ecological restoration; fuel; herbaceous production; madrone; mortality

Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: 2000-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Important Notice: SAF's journals are now published through partnership with the Oxford University Press. Access to archived material will be available here on the Ingenta website until March 31, 2018. For new material, please access the journals via OUP's website. Note that access via Ingenta will be permanently discontinued after March 31, 2018. Members requiring support to access SAF's journals via OUP's site should contact SAF's membership department for assistance.

    Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
  • Submit a Paper
  • Membership Information
  • Author Guidelines
  • Podcasts
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more