ABSTRACT - Early documents and maps, landscape features, soils, climate, fossil pollen and charcoal as evidence of vegetation and fire history, modern plants, and insects were used to evaluate past changes in the pitch pine communities on the Rome Sand Plains of central New York. Pitch pine and ericaceous shrubs became important at this locality ca. 1500 to 1600 A. D. Increased disturbance including Indian-caused fires may have triggered this event. Euro-American logging, land clearance, and fire in the 19th and early 20th centuries helped to maintain existing pine barrens and convert mesophytic deciduous-coniferous forest to pine barrens. Fires associated with brush removal, a railroad that ran through the area, blueberry production, and arson destroyed soil organic horizons and decreased available moisture and nutrients favoring xerophytic over mesophytic plant species. Pine barrens at this locality are reverting to mesophytic deciduous-coniferous forest with abandonment of the railroad and late 20th century fire suppression efforts.
New methods for evaluating burn severity across broad spatial extents, using satellite imagery, have enabled new opportunities for wildland fire managers and researchers. While numerous studies have calibrated burn severity for forest types of the western United States, comparatively little research has been conducted in forest types of eastern US, where seasonality modulates wildfire occurrence and reflectance patterns of vegetation.Read More
Forest fire trends: northern forest trends. A long history of big fires, but the threat has largely abated.
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Author: Lloyd C. Irland Popular article in The Northern Logger and Timber Processor on the decline of fire in northern New England.
What happened to S. New England fires? They virtually disappeared over a few decades in The Mid 20th century.
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Author: Lloyd C. Irland Popular article in The Northern Logger and Timber Processor on the decline of fire in southern New England.