Canadian Forest Service Publications

The North American Tree-Ring Fire-Scar Network. (2022) Margolis, E. Q.; Guiterman, C. H.; Chavardès, R. D.; Coop, J. D.; Copes-Gerbitz, K.; Dawe, D. A.; Falk, D. A.; Johnston, J. D.; Larson, E.; Li, H.; Marschall, J.M.; Naficy, C.E.; Naito, A.T.; Parisien, M.-A.; Parks, S.A.; Portiern J.; Poulos, H. M.; Robertson, K.M.; Speer, J.H.; Stambaugh, M.; Swetnam, T.M.; Templey, A.J.; Thapa, I.; Allen, C.D.; Bergeron, Y.; Daniels, D.D.; Fulé, P.Z.; Gervais, D.; Girardin, M.P.; Harley, G.L.; Harvey, J.E.; Hoffman, K.M.; Huffman, J.M.; Hurteau, M.D.; Johnson, L.B.; Lafon, C.W.; Lopez, M.K.; Maxwell, R.S.; Meunier, J.; North, M.; Rother, M.T.; Schmidt, M.R.; Sherriff, R.L.; Stachowiak, L.A.; Taylor, A.; Taylor, E.J.; Trouet, V.; Villarreal, M.L.; Yocom, L.L.; Arabas, K.B.; Arizpe, A.H.; Arseneault, D.; Azpeleta Tarancón, A.; Baisan, C.; Bigio, E.; Biondi, F.; Cahalan, G.D.; Caprio, A.; Cerano-Paredes, J.; Collins, B.M.; Dey, D.C.; Drobyshev, I.; Farris, C.; Fenwick, M.A.; Flatley, W.; Floyd, M.L.; Gedalof, Z.; Holz, A.; Howard, L.F.; Huffman, D.W.; Iniguez, J.; Kipfmuller, K.F.; Kitchen, S.G.; Lombardo, K.; McKenzie, D.; Merschel, A.G.; Metlen, K.L.; Minor, J.; O'Connor, C.D.; Platt, L.; Platt, W.J.; Saladyga, T.; Stan, A.B.; Stephens, S.; Sutheimer, C.; Touchan, R.; Weisberg, P. Ecosphere 13( 7), 36 p.

Year: 2022

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40767

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 1002

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Mark record


Fire regimes in North American forests are diverse and modern fire recordsare often too short to capture important patterns, trends, feedbacks, anddrivers of variability. Tree-ring fire scars provide valuable perspectives on fireregimes, including centuries-long records of fire year, season, frequency, sever-ity, and size. Here, we introduce the newly compiled North American tree-ringfire-scar network (NAFSN), which contains 2562 sites, >37,000 fire-scarredtrees, and covers large parts of North America. We investigate the NAFSN interms of geography, sample depth, vegetation, topography, climate, and humanland use. Fire scars are found in most ecoregions, from boreal forests in north-ern Alaska and Canada to subtropical forests in southern Florida and Mexico.The network includes 91 tree species, but is dominated by gymnosperms in thegenusPinus. Fire scars are found from sea level to >4000-m elevation and acrossa range of topographic settings that vary by ecoregion. Multiple regions aredensely sampled (e.g., >1000 fire-scarred trees), enabling new spatial analysessuch as reconstructions of area burned. To demonstrate the potential of the net-work, we compared the climate space of the NAFSN to those of modern firesand forests; the NAFSN spans a climate space largely representative of the for-ested areas in North America, with notable gaps in warmer tropical climates.Modern fires are burning in similar climate spaces as historical fires, but dispro-portionately in warmer regions compared to the historical record, possiblyrelated to under-sampling of warm subtropical forests or supportingECOSPHERE3of36observations of changing fire regimes. The historical influence of Indigenousand non-Indigenous human land use on fire regimes varies in space and time. A20th century fire deficit associated with human activities is evident in manyregions, yet fire regimes characterized by frequent surface fires are still active insome areas (e.g., Mexico and the southeastern United States). These analysesprovide a foundation and framework for future studies using the hundreds ofthousands of annually- to sub-annually-resolved tree-ring records of fire span-ning centuries, which will further advance our understanding of the interactionsamong fire, climate, topography, vegetation, and humans across North America.