Title: Comparison of charcoal and tree-ring records of recent fires in the eastern Klamath Mountains, California, USA
Author: Whitlock, Cathy; Skinner, Carl N.; Bartlein, Patrick J.; Minckley, Thomas ; Mohr, Jerry A.
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research 34(10): 2110-2121
Description: Fire-history reconstructions are based on tree-ring records that span the last few centuries and charcoal data from lake-sediment cores that extend back several thousand years. The two approaches have unique strengths and weaknesses in their ability to depict past fire events and fire regimes, and most comparisons of these datasets in western conifer forests have focused on sites characterized by high-severity crown fires. Tree-ring and charcoal data spanning the last 300 years in four watersheds in the montane forests of the Klamath Mountains provided an opportunity to compare the records in a fire regime of frequent low- to moderate-severity surface events. The charcoal data were obtained from small lakes, and tree-ring records were derived from fire-scar chronologies at multiple sites within each watershed. The comparison indicates that the tree-ring records detected individual fires not evident in the lake-sediment profiles, whereas the charcoal data disclosed variations in fuel loading and general levels of burning at broader spatial scales. Regional burning in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was evident in the lake-sediment records, and both datasets registered a decline in fire activity in the late 20th century. Thus, the two types of data provide complementary as well as supplementary information on past fire conditions.
Keywords: paleoecology, fire history, fire ecology, pollen, charcoal, tree rings, dendrochronology
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Whitlock, Cathy; Skinner, Carl N.; Bartlein, Patrick J.; Minckley, Thomas ; Mohr, Jerry A. 2004. Comparison of charcoal and tree-ring records of recent fires in the eastern Klamath Mountains, California, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 34(10): 2110-2121
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