Dr Jeanne Chambers – Measuring Ecological Resilience to Combat Wildfires
Original Article Reference
This SciPod is a summary of the paper ‘Operationalizing Resilience and Resistance Concepts to Address Invasive Grass-Fire Cycles’, from Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00185
About this episode
Invasive plants can permanently alter ecosystems to promote conditions that support their own persistence. For example, certain invasive grasses can make areas prone to more frequent and larger wildfires, which negatively impact native species but favour fire-resistant invaders. This self-perpetuating process, termed a grass-fire cycle, can be impossible to reverse. Dr Jeanne Chambers of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rocky Mountain Research Station and her colleagues – Matt Brooks, Matt Germino, Jeremy Maestas, David Board, Matt Jones, and Brady Allred – recently examined how an ecosystem’s resilience to fire and resistance to invasive grasses influence whether a grass-fire cycle will establish. In their paper, the scientists introduced a geospatial tool and decision matrix that incorporate measures of ecological resilience and resistance to invasive grasses for designing management strategies to combat grass-fire cycles.
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