Table of Contents
Land, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 31 articles
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer landscapes in the Western USA often have uncertain histories [...] Read more. Ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer landscapes in the Western USA often have uncertain histories because historical evidence is sparse. However, spatially comprehensive land surveys in the late 1800s have recently shown that some adjoining mountain ranges had surprisingly different histories, some with mostly low-severity fires, others with more severe fires. This leaves us with uncertainty about whether modern fires, like the 2002 mixed-severity fire in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, are characteristic or not of their historical landscapes. The land surveys here show that the high spatial variability in tree density, abundant shrub cover, and scattered timber from this recent fire also occurred historically. This suggests seemingly-stable landscapes in this region may be vulnerable to similar transformation in episodes of mixed-severity fire.View this paper.