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Selection: Romme:WH [5 articles] 

Publications by author Romme:WH.

The interaction of fire, fuels, and climate across Rocky Mountain forests

BioScience, Vol. 54, No. 7. (2004), pp. 661-676,[0661:tioffa];2


Understanding the relative influence of fuels and climate on wildfires across the Rocky Mountains is necessary to predict how fires may respond to a changing climate and to define effective fuel management approaches to controlling wildfire in this increasingly populated region. The idea that decades of fire suppression have promoted unnatural fuel accumulation and subsequent unprecedentedly large, severe wildfires across western forests has been developed primarily from studies of dry ponderosa pine forests. However, this model is being applied uncritically across ...


The status of our scientific understanding of lodgepole pine and mountain pine beetles - A focus on forest ecology and fire behavior

Global Fire Initiative technical report, Vol. 2008, No. 2. (2008), pp. 1-13


A synthesis of our current knowledge about the effects of the mountain pine beetle epidemic on lodgepole pine forests and fire behavior, with a geographic focus on Colorado and southern Wyoming. [Excerpt: Implications for future forests] Models for predicting future climates have progressed dramatically in recent years, but their accuracy is questionable for planning purposes, particularly at local levels. Nonetheless, model predictions suggest significant alterations in climate from past observed patterns. These predictions are supported by recent climate events that themselves had largely been predicted several years ago. Therefore, the potential ...


Cross-scale Drivers of Natural Disturbances Prone to Anthropogenic Amplification: The Dynamics of Bark Beetle Eruptions

BioScience, Vol. 58, No. 6. (01 June 2008), pp. 501-517,


Biome-scale disturbances by eruptive herbivores provide valuable insights into species interactions, ecosystem function, and impacts of global change. We present a conceptual framework using one system as a model, emphasizing interactions across levels of biological hierarchy and spatiotemporal scales. Bark beetles are major natural disturbance agents in western North American forests. However, recent bark beetle population eruptions have exceeded the frequencies, impacts, and ranges documented during the previous 125 years. Extensive host abundance and susceptibility, concentrated beetle density, favorable weather, optimal ...


Regional vegetation die-off in response to global-change-type drought

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 102, No. 42. (10 October 2005), pp. 15144-15148,


Future drought is projected to occur under warmer temperature conditions as climate change progresses, referred to here as global-change-type drought, yet quantitative assessments of the triggers and potential extent of drought-induced vegetation die-off remain pivotal uncertainties in assessing climate-change impacts. Of particular concern is regional-scale mortality of overstory trees, which rapidly alters ecosystem type, associated ecosystem properties, and land surface conditions for decades. Here, we quantify regional-scale vegetation die-off across southwestern North American woodlands in 2002-2003 in response to drought and ...


Managing forests and fire in changing climates

Science, Vol. 342, No. 6154. (04 October 2013), pp. 41-42,


With projected climate change, we expect to face much more forest fire in the coming decades. Policy-makers are challenged not to categorize all fires as destructive to ecosystems simply because they have long flame lengths and kill most of the trees within the fire boundary. Ecological context matters: In some ecosystems, high-severity regimes are appropriate, but climate change may modify these fire regimes and ecosystems as well. Some undesirable impacts may be avoided or reduced through global strategies, as well as ...

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