Review, Resources, & References
1. The Roles of Fire
Fire is a natural disturbance that influences virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. An ecosystem’s fire regime is characterized by the spatial and temporal patterns of fire in the area. Prescribed fires can be used to mimic historical, natural regimes that have been altered by human activities.
2. Fire Behavior
All fires are not the same. Fires vary in how, what, why, when, and where they burn. Fire behavior is a function of the spatial and temporal variability of weather, topography, and fuels.
3. FIRE EFFECTS
The effects of fire are difficult to predict and depend upon fire conditions and site characteristics. Ecosystem response to fire is generally positive if current fire patterns have not departed too far from natural fire regimes.
4. PLANT COMMUNITIES FOLLOWING FIRE
The effect of fire on any plant species, including invasive plants, depends on the compatibility of the plant’s biological traits with the characteristics of the fire, and the influence of a number of post-fire variables. The plant community response to fire is a product of responses of all plants in a burned area and their interactions with each other and the changed environment.
5. FIRE AND INVASIVE PLANTS
Fire may promote or suppress invasive plant populations. Invasive plant populations may lead to changes in fire regimes.
6. Integrated Principles
Prescribed burning as an invasive plant management tool combines the guiding principles of Integrated Fire Management and Integrated Pest Management.
7. Controlling INVASIVE PLANTS
Vulnerable plant structures must be exposed to a sufficient duration of lethal temperatures for fire to kill an invasive plant. Long-term control of invasive plants with prescribed burning requires suppression and depletion of all reproductive structures.
8. Fire Prescriptions
Fire prescriptions manipulate timing, fuel characteristics, and ignition strategies to apply fire at the optimal time and intensity required to achieve desired effects.
9. MANAGEMENT OPTIONS WITH PRESCRIBED FIRE
Fire can be prescribed to realize a variety of invasive plant management options. It is best applied as part of an integrated management strategy.
10. MONITORING THE EFFECTS AND EFFECTIVENESS OF FIRE
A monitoring program should be designed to ensure that prescribed fire treatments are meeting invasive plant management objectives. Monitoring methods should detect changes in the desired plant community, target plant populations, and the establishment and expansion of nontarget invasive plant species.
Glossary of Fire Terms
National Wildfire Coordinating Group
Invasive Plant Management with Prescribed Burning
The Use of Fire as a Tool for Controlling Invasive Plants
Fire as a Tool for Controlling Nonnative Invasive Plants: A Review of Current Literature
The Nature Conservancy - Weed Control Methods Handbook
Fire Effects Information System: Online Database
The Role of Wildfire in the Establishment and Range Expansion of Nonnative Plant Species into Natural Areas: A Review of Current Literature
http://www.weedcenter.org/products_pub/Wildfire.pdf (502 KB PDF)
Fire Science Lab
USFWS Fuel and Fire Effects Monitoring Guide
http://www.fws.gov/fire/downloads/monitor.pdf (3.3 MB PDF)
National Park Service Fire Monitoring Handbook
Fire Research and Management
US Fish and Wildlife Service Fire Management Information
The Nature Conservancy’s Global Fire Initiative
Tall Timbers Research Center and Land Conservancy
Joint Fire Science Program
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