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Both fire and climatic variability have monumental impacts on the dynamics of temperate ecosystems. These impacts can sometimes be extreme or devastating as seen in recent El Nino/La Nina cycles and in uncontrolled fire occurrences. This volume brings together research conducted in western North and South America, areas of a great deal of collaborative work on the influence of people and climate change on fire regimes. In order to give perspective to patterns of change over time, it emphasizes the integration of paleoecological studies with studies of modern ecosystems. Data from a range of spatial scales, from individual plants to communities and ecosystems to landscape and regional levels, are included. Contributions come from fire ecology, paleoecology, biogeography, paleoclimatology, landscape and ecosystem ecology, ecological modeling, forest management, plant community ecology and plant morphology. The book gives a synthetic overview of methods, data and simulation models for evaluating fire regime processes in forests, shrublands and woodlands and assembles case studies of fire, climate and land use histories. The unique approach of this book gives researchers the benefits of a north-south comparison as well as the integration of paleoecological histories, current ecosystem dynamics and modeling of future changes.
Preface * Section 1. Methods and Models * Fire-History Reconstructions Based on Sediment Records from Lakes and Wetlands * Simulation of Landscape Fire, Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics * Simulation of Effects of Climatic Change on Fire Regimes * Section 2. North America * Fire Regimes and Climatic Change in Canadian Forests * Fires and Climate in Forested Landscapes of the US Rocky Mountains * Tree-Ring Reconstructions of Fire and Climate History in the Sierra Nevada of California and Southwestern United States * The Influence of Climate and Land Use on Historical Surface Fires in Pine-Oak Forests, Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico * Impact of Past, Present and Future Fire Regimes on North American Mediterranean Shrublands * Section 3. South America * Fire History and Vegetation Change in Northern Patagonia, Argentina * Influences of Climate on Fire in Northern Patagonia, Argentina * Fire Regimes and Forest Dynamics in the Lake District of south central Chile * Fire History in Central Chile: Tree-Ring Evidence and Modern Records * Holocene Fire Frequency and Climate Change at Rio Rubens Bog, Southern Patagonia * Regeneration Potential of Chilean Matorral after Fire: An Updated View * Section 4. Practical Implications * Management Implications of Fire and Climate Changes in the Western Americas