NAFSE Summer Newsletter 2019

In this month's Newsletter:

NAFSE's Recent Activities: Fire History Webinar, Fire in Eastern Oaks Conference
Upcoming Events: Flat Rock Workshop, Communications Training, ESRI/GIS Training, Regional/National Meetings, More Training Opportunities
Interview: Neil Gifford and Tyler Briggs on Flat Rock
North Atlantic News: Rare Bee Species in MA, 360 Crown Fire Video - NJ, WPI Fire Spread - MA, Fire History - PA, Fire Birds - NY
News Articles: News Articles Applicable to our Region
Job Announcements: The Nature Conservancy
Resource Highlights: Firefighter Entrapment, Design a Poster, IFTDSS Burn Probability
Photos: Cool photos from our region this Summer!

Conceptual ecological models for the Long Island pitch pine barrens: implications for managing rare plant communities


Marilyn J. Jordan a,*, William A. Patterson III b, Andrew G. Windisch c

aThe Nature Conservancy, 250 Lawrence Hill Rd., Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA bDepartment of Natural Resources Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA cDepartment of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks & Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management, P.O. Box 404, Trenton, NJ 08625-0404, USA

M.J. Jordan et al. / Forest Ecology and Management 185 (2003) 151–168

Fire dependent pitch pine (Pinus rigida Mill.) and scrub oak (Quercus ilicifolia Wang.) barrens are found on coarse-textured, droughty soils in the northeastern United States. These communities are globablly rare and, in many areas, dependent on active management to sustain them. We used historic and recent aerial photographs of the Central Pine Barrens in New York to develop transition matrices and trajectories of vegetation change. A vegetation map for 1990 provided pre-burn cover type information for a 1,200 ha area burned by an extremely severe wildfire in August 1995. Geographic information system analyses, a fire- history study, post-wildfire research and existing literature provided additional information for development of three conceptual models that describe our understanding of vegetation change in response to fire and land clearing. A simulation model was then used to predict the amount of each cover type in 2046. The reasonableness of the prediction was assessed based on our understanding of pine barrens vegetation dynamics.

In 1938, following a period of frequent, intense wildfires of the region, 90% of vegetation in the study area was open canopy barrens (including dwarf pine plains, pitch pine–scrub oak woodland, heath, pine–heath woodland, and scrub oak shrubland). Between 1938 and 1994, wildfires decreased in size, the average area burned per year generally declined, and there were no fires in 70% of the study area. As a result, barrens decreased to 􏰁45% of study area vegetation. In August 1995, an unusually severe summer wildfire converted 810 ha of woodland and forest into scrub oak shrubland, and increased barrens to 60% of study area vegetation. Most areas of heath and pine–heath, which comprised 24% of barrens vegetation in 1996, are successional types that developed on formerly cleared land. In the absence of extensive burning, we expect barrens vegetation to be converted to closed- canopy forest as coppice trees and new seedlings mature. Recent changes in fire regimes are likely to result in a loss of barrens vegetation that exceeds predictions of the simulation model. Careful use of prescribed fire and/or mechanical treatments to simulate the effects of fire are recommended for future restoration and maintenance of pitch pine barrens, and for protection of human life and property.

Research Brief: Understanding fire behavior using modern equipment and methods

Check out this research brief on Dr. Eric Mueller's most recent paper describing the instrumentation needed to measure prescribed burns in the pinelands of New Jersey. This type of research would not be possible without the help of local managers and should help them understand how fire will behave in their system.


April 2017 Newsletter

In this month's Newsletter:
NAFSE's Activities:  Burning Issues Talks Posted, Webinars
NAFSE's Upcoming Events: Webinar, Workshop, Field trip
Upcoming Events: Conferences, Webinars, Training Courses
Call for Input: Prescribed Fire Materials Survey
In The News: Mapping Rx Fires, Human Ignitions, 1963 Newsreel, Stockton Student Video, Teaching Children to 'Play' with Fire
New Tool: Eastern Area Prescribed Fire Burn Window
Job Announcement: Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact Executive Director
North Atlantic Fire Science Resource Highlights: US Fire Administration's National Emergency Training Center Library, Fire History of the Appalachian Region
Photos: Recent NAFSE and Regional Events

February 2017 Newsletter

In this month's Newsletter:

NAFSE's Activities: Camp Edwards Field Trip Recap, Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact, Webinars
Interview: Ann Camp: Afire for teaching
NAFSE's Upcoming Events: Workshop, Webinars, Field trip
Upcoming Events: Conferences, Webinars, Training Courses
Call for Input: Tree mortality data needed, FEIS syntheses suggestions
In The News: Stockton University, Martha's Vineyard, Long Island, George Zimmermann
Job Announcement: MA Prescribed Fire Ecologist
North Atlantic Fire Science Resource Highlights: LANDIS-II spatial disturbance and succession model

October 2016 Newsletter

In this month's Newsletter:

NAFSE's Activities: Canadian Fire Science Exchange Day, JFSP Governing Board Field Trip, Webinars
Interview: Tim Simmons: Conservation Ecologist with a Passion for Fire
NAFSE's Upcoming Events: Webinars, Field trips, and Workshops
Upcoming Events: Conferences, Webinars, Training Courses
Funding Opportunities: JFSP and NPS
Call for Research: Identifying Research Gaps in the North Atlantic
In The News: Great Swamp, Albany Pine Bush, Pennsylvania Game Commission
North Atlantic Fire Science Resource Highlights: Rx Fire Smoke Management Pocket Guide

Smoke science: Understanding turbulence effects on smoke during prescribed fires

This month we highlight smoke science from the Pinelands of New Jersey where smoke impacts are never far from our minds. This research, brought to us by Dr. Warren Heilman of the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station along with his fellow researchers, highlights important observations of how turbulence forms in different types of fires, and how this research might be used in the future. 

Download.pdf >

Smoke science: Smoke Model Review

Click here to check out NAFSE's January 2016 research brief. This month we look at a smoke model review from 2012 by Dr. Scott Goodrick (USDA Forest Service) and colleagues which details the applicability and assumptions of smoke models in use today. Great information on the latest in smoke models!

Photo by Bob Williams

Photo by Bob Williams

May 2015 Newsletter

In this month's Newsletter:
Announcing our NEW WEBSITE
March Field Trip Recap
Smoke Modeling Resources
In The News: NJ's Stockton University, Senate hearings, and regional articles and news clips on this year's fire season.
Upcoming Events: NAFSE Webinar and Workshops
Fire in Eastern Oak Forests Conference
One Fire Day: Short Stories of Memorable Fires
North Atlantic Fire Science Resource Highlight: Ecological Effects of Prescribed Fire Season


Recent Research: Predicting fire frequency with chemistry and climate

Click here to check out this March 2015 research brief highlighting our latest webinar speaker's 2012 paper on mapping and modeling fire frequency.

If you missed Dr. Guyette's Feb. 26th webinar you can find it HERE

Author: Inga La Puma, Authors of paper: Richard P. Guyette, MichaelC. Stambaugh, Daniel C. Dey & Rose- Marie Muzika 

January 2015 Newsletter

In this month's Newsletter:

Follow NAFSE's New Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr Pages
Register Now For The NAFSE Field Trip
Check Out Greg Nowacki's December Webinar Recording
In The News: Quail And Fire In NJ
Upcoming Events: Conferences And Webinars
Help Improve LandFire Data In Your Region

Now Available:

  • Joint Fire Science National Fire Science Digest Collection
  • Fire Behavior Field Reference Guide 

Islands of Pine: Future Climate Scenarios in the NJ Pinelands using the LANDIS-II Forest Landscape Disturbance and Succession Model

Assessing forest resilience to disturbances including climate change is an important aspect of adaptive management. Climate change impacts on fire and forest composition in the Pinelands of New Jersey have not been assessed to date and the prospect of major shifts in forest composition present challenges to the mission of the Pinelands National Reserve to preserve the ecological integrity of the Pinelands.

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Landscape Disturbance and Succession Modeling in the Pinelands of New Jersey using LANDIS-II: The Implications of Human Influence on Fire and Forest Composition

Coupled human-natural systems present complex relationships between human influence and ecosystem response and services. The Pinelands of New Jersey represent a highly human influenced system noted for its fire regime which helps maintain pinelands cover and halt succession from pine to oak forest composition.

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