Fire History of Lodgepole Pine on Chagoopa Plateau

Fire History of Lodgepole Pine on Chagoopa Plateau, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Anthony C. Caprio, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, 47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271, USA; ph: (559) 565-3126; email: e-mail us.

Information on the role of pre-20th century fire in lodgepole-pine forests of the southern Sierra Nevada is limited. To answer questions about changes in fire regimes with Euro-American settlement, fire occurrence patterns were reconstructed from a series of sites across Chagoopa Plateau in predominantly lodgepole-pine forest with interspered meadows. Temporal and spatial patterns of past fires were compared among 17 sites, particularly the relative differences between meadow and non-meadow sites. Thirteen fire dates were recorded between 1549 and 2000. Before 1860, fire events showed mixed degrees of synchronization among sites with widespread fires in 1751, 1815, and 1846, while other dates were recorded only at single locations. Of particular interest, was a cluster of 1880s fire dates at some meadow sites, suggesting the influence of Euro-American shepherds.

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