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The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires presents information on the current paradigm shift in the way people think about wildfire and ecosystems. While much of the current forest management in fire-adapted ecosystems, especially forests, is focused on fire prevention and suppression, little has been reported on the ecological role of fire, and nothing has been presented on the importance of high-severity fire with regards to the maintenance of native biodiversity and fire-dependent ecosystems and species. This text fills that void, providing a comprehensive reference for documenting and synthesizing fire's ecological role.
Section I: Biodiversity of Mixed- and High-Severity Fires
1. Setting the Stage for Mixed- and High-Severity Fires
2. Ecological and Biodiversity Benefits of Mega-Fires
3. Using Bird Ecology to Learn about the Benefits of Severe Fire
4. Mammal Habitat Selection in Mixed- and High-Severity Fires
5. Stream-Riparian Ecosystems of Mixed- and High-Severity Fires
6. Bark Beetles and Mixed- and High-Severity Fires in Rocky Mountain Subalpine Forests
Section 2: Global Perspectives on Mixed- and High-Severity Fires
7. High-Severity Fire in Chaparral: Cognitive Dissonance in the Shrublands
8. Regional Case Studies of Mixed-Severity Fires: South-East Australia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Europe, and Boreal Canada
9. Climate Change and Mixed- and High-Severity Fires: Uncertainties, Shifting Baselines, and Fire Management
10. Carbon Dynamics of Mixed- and High-Severity Wildfires: Pyrogenic CO2 Emissions, Post-fire Carbon Balance, and Succession
Section 3: Managing Mixed- and High-Severity Fires
11. In the Aftermath of Mixed- and High-Severity Fire: Logging and Related Actions Degrade Mixed and High-Severity Burn Areas
12. The Rising Costs of Wildfire Suppression and the Case for Ecological Fire Use
13. Flight of the Phoenix: Coexisting with Mixed-Severity Fires
Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D., is President and Chief Scientist of the Geos Institute (www.geosinstitute.org) in Ashland, Oregon. He served two terms as President of the Society for Conservation Biology, North America Section, and is a Courtesy Professor at Oregon State University. He is an internationally renowned author of over 200 technical papers on forest and fire ecology, conservation biology, endangered species, and landscape ecology. He received conservation leadership awards from the World Wildlife Fund (2000, 2004), Wilburforce Foundation (2006), received Choice Publisher's "academic excellence award for "Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World: Ecology and Conservation, and is on the Fulbright Specialist roster for international placement by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Dr. DellaSala has appeared on nature documentaries (PBS), as an expert witness at numerous congressional hearings including acting as a "whistle blower during congressional hearings on scientific integrity and the Endangered Species Act, and has given keynote addresses at numerous conferences and international meetings such the United Nations Earth Summit. He is motivated by his passion to leave a living planet for his daughter and all those that follow.
Chad T. Hanson, Ph. D., is director and staff ecologist of the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute. His Ph.D. is in ecology from the University of California, Davis, and his research focus is on fire ecology in conifer forest ecosystems. Studies published by Dr. Hanson cover topics such as: habitat selection of rare wildlife species associated with habitat created by high-severity fire; post-fire conifer responses and adaptations; fire history, especially historical versus current rates of high-severity fire occurrence; and current fire patterns. Dr. Hanson lives in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California, and conducts research in conifer forests of the western United States, primarily in forests of California.