Fire Ecology
Volume 9 Issue 3, 2013
Fire Ecology
Volume 9 Issue 3, 2013
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0903 

About the Cover:  Wildlands globally are increasingly affected by non-native species and diseases.  The disease sudden oak death causes native tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) trees to retain their dead foliage, potentially increasing their crown ignitability.  In this issue, Kuljian and Varner report on laboratory results that illustrate the mechanisms of this response.  This photograph is of coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)-tanoak forests affected by sudden oak death and fire in the 2008 Basin Fire in California.  
Photo credit: Howard Kuljian. 
Spanish Abstracts

We now provide all of our abstracts in Spanish.  To view the Spanish version, click on the link that says "View Article PDF."
AFE's Position Paper 
The Merits of Prescribed Fire Outweigh Potential Carbon Emission Effects white paper was released this fall.  This paper was developed by Association for Fire Ecology, International Association of Wildland Fire, Tall Timbers Research Station, and The Nature Conservancy.  
Upcoming AFE Events

We are currently organizing or co-hosting the following events:

Missoula, Montana
May 19-23, 2014. 

In collaboration with IAWF. 


Tucson, Arizona
February 25-27, 2014.  

Co-Hosted with the SW Fire Science Consortium. 


Central Oregon Fire Science Symposium.  

Bend, Oregon

April 7-11, 2014. 

Co-Hosted with the NW Fire Science Consortium.


6th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress.  

San Antonio, Texas, USA. November 16-20, 2015.

Donate to the  
Mike da Luz Memorial Student Scholarship

AFE regrets to announce the recent passing of our board member Mike da Luz. Mike has been instrumental in the financial growth and future visioning of AFE. His clear and intelligent analysis and wisdom will be greatly missed.

Mike's family is working with AFE to create this scholarship fund to help students travel to attend conferences and other educational events. We are very grateful to the family for this opportunity to honor Mike by continuing to foster his vision of knowledge transfer and fire ecology education.


Please CLICK HERE  to read more about Mike, to donate, or to learn more about the scholarship.

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In this Issue


The December 2013 issue of Fire Ecology, issue 9(3), is now available for viewing and downloading on the AFE website.  We continue our publication of classic fire ecology articles with H.H. Chapman's Is the longleaf type a climax?, first published in Ecology in 1932, with an introduction by Professor Brian Oswald.  Next up is a forum article that is quite topical given the recent wildfires around Sydney, Australia: Jurskis and Underwood's Human fires and wildfires on Sydney sandstones: history informs management.


These are followed by one short communication and six research articles ranging in topic from grassland to forest.  Evans and others show that mid-summer fires can affect the abundance of economically important insects.  Kuljian and Varner demonstrate in laboratory tests how sudden oak death affects foliar moisture, ignition, and consumption of tanoak foliage.  Coughlan argues that unauthorized fires in Georgia, USA, potentially contribute to the maintenance of landscapes adapted to frequent, dormant-season, and early growing-season fire regimes.  Reemts and Hansen evaluate short-term effects of repeated wildfires in oak-juniper woodlands in Texas, USA.  Weir and Limb show seasonal variation in flammability of the leaf litter of two oak species of the Cross Timbers region of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, USA.  The final research paper is by Strong and others looking at fire effects on the native bunchgrass purple threeawn.


Finally, we present a review by Cansler and Larson of the Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment's special online, free access issue on prescribed burning around the world.  Fire Ecology is continuing to include abstracts in both English and Spanish for all research articles.

-James K. Agee,  Fire Ecology Managing Editor

Classic Article

Is The Longleaf Type a Climax?, with an Introduction by Brian P. Oswald

Author:   H.H. Chapman
Pages: 1-7     DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0903001
When I moved to the south in 1992, one of the first articles I read regarding the ecological role of fire in southern forests was H.H. Chapman's "Is the Longleaf Type a Climax?" from the 1932 volume ofEcology.  Herman Haupt Chapman followed his short tenure as a forest assistant under Gifford Pinchot with a long career on the faculty in the Yale University School of Forestry.  Read Complete Abstract  View Article PDF

Forum: Issues, Management, Policy, and Opinions

Human Fires and Wildfires on Sydney Sandstones: History Informs Management 

Author:  Vic Jurskis and Roger Underwood
Pages: 8-24     DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0903008 
There is a concept in fire ecology that some natural (pre-European) fire regimes were dominated by infrequent high intensity fires ignited by lightning. In Australia, some ecologists extend this to most or all ecosystems across the landscape.   Read Complete Abstract   View Article PDF

Short Communication

Lepidoptera Pest Species Response to Mid-Summer Fire 

Authors: T.R. EvansC.J.M. MustersE.D. Cashatt, and G.R. de Snoo
Pages: 25-32DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0903025 
In the American Midwest, summer fires are infrequent, and there is little information on their impact on ecosystems. After an accidental wildfire in a 20 ha grassland restoration, new growth provided effective substrate for the noctuid species corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), and tobacco budworm,Heliothis virescens (Fabricius).   Read Complete Abstract   View Article PDF

Research Articles

Foliar Consumption Across a Sudden Oak Death Chronosequence in Laboratory Fires 

Authors: Howard Kuljian and J. Morgan Varner III
Pages: 33-44     DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0903033 
The recent introduction and spread of sudden oak death (SOD; caused by Phytopthora ramorum) has caused heavy mortality in native tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus [Hook. & Arn.] Manos et al. =Lithocarpus densiflorus [Hook. & Arn.] Rehder) forests in California and Oregon, USA.   Read Complete Abstract   View Article PDF

Unauthorized Firesetting as Socioecological Disturbance: A Spatiotemporal Analysis of Incendiary Wildfires in Georgia, USA, 1987-2010

Pages: 45-63     DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0903045 
I analyzed the spatiotemporal patterning of intentional, unauthorized landscape fires in the state of Georgia, USA, for the years 1987 through 2010 with the aim of delineating socioecological constraints on and firesetter preferences for the timing and placement of ignitions.  Read Complete Abstract   View Article PDF

Short-Term Effects of Repeated Wildfires in Oak-Juniper Woodlands

Authors: Charlotte M. Reemts and Laura L. Hansen
Pages: 64-79     DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0903064 
Fire can shape both the structure and composition of vegetation communities, especially those dominated by species with different regeneration strategies. The dominant species of oak-juniper communities in central Texas include resprouters (oaks [Quercus spp.]) and a reseeder (Ashe juniper [Juniperus asheiBuchholz]).   Read Complete Abstract   View Article PDF 
Seasonal Variation in Flammability Characteristics of Quercus marilandica and Quercus stellata Leaf Litter Burned in the Laboratory
Authors: John R. Weir and Ryan F. Limb
Pages: 80-88     DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0903080
Historically, the Cross Timbers forest of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas burned frequently. Fire managers in the region often have varied success when conducting prescribed fires, with one hypothesis being that fuel quality varies with litter age.   Read Complete Abstract    View Article PDF
Fire Effects on Basal Area, Tiller Production, and Mortality of the C4 Bunchgrass, Purple Threeawn
Pages: 89-99     DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0903089 
Fire behavior associated with wild and prescribed fires is variable, but plays a vital role in how a plant responds to fire. Understanding the relationship between fire behavior and rangeland plant community response will help to improve the use of prescribed fire to achieve management objectives.   Read Complete Abstract    View Article PDF

Book Review

Prescribed Burning in Fire-Prone Landscapes
Page: 100    DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0903100
The Ecological Society of America journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment recently published an open access special issue of interest to Fire Ecology readers, "Prescribed Burning in Fire-Prone Landscapes." The seven papers in this special issue provide an international perspective on the basis for and use of prescribed burning, as well as other human uses of fire, such as wildland fire use and traditional indigenous burning practices.  Read Complete Abstract   View Article PDF