COLUMBIA, Mo. – For nearly a century, forest fires have been viewed by scientists and the public as dangerous and environmentally damaging disasters. However, recent research has shown that forest fires are vital to maintaining healthy forests. While people in the western portions of the U.S. experience forest fires often and know of their value, many people on the eastern side of the U.S. do not know of their importance. In a new study, University of Missouri researchers have studied tree rings throughout Oklahoma and Tennessee to determine the history of fires in those areas. Michael Stambaugh, assistant research professor in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, says understanding this history is important for managing and improving the ecology of forests in the future.
“Many forest ecosystems are fire-dependent, meaning that in order to maintain their health and vibrancy, they must be subjected to fire on a regular basis,” said Stambaugh, who is a member of the Missouri Tree-Ring Laboratory at MU. “By understanding how fire has maintained forest ecosystems in the past, we can determine the best ways to use fire to maintain those forests in the future.”
To study the history of fire in Oklahoma and Tennessee, Stambaugh examined tree rings from 332 trees in eight different sites throughout both states. Stambaugh found 843 different fire scars embedded within the tree rings and was able to determine when and how often each site experienced forest fires over the last 300 years. He found that despite having a wetter, cooler climate, forests in Tennessee experienced higher fire frequency than Oklahoma. He also found that fires existed in those areas long before Euro-American settlement, showing that fire has been important to those forests for centuries.
“The history of fire in America also is the history of humans on this continent,” Stambaugh said. “Humans have been here for more than 12,000 years and everywhere we see humans move, we see fires follow or be altered. This has been a constant for so long that forest ecology has become dependent on these fires, if they already weren’t before humans arrived. However, many parts of the U.S., especially in the eastern half of the continent, have not experienced forest fires in more than 150 years because humans have worked hard to prevent those fires. Many of those forests are now suffering because of the lack of fire to help renew the ecology.”
In order to understand the effects of fire around the U.S., Stambaugh and his fellow MU researchers are cataloging the history of fire by studying tree rings from trees throughout the entire country.
The study, “Scale Dependence of Oak Woodland Historical Fire Intervals: Contrasting the Barrens of Tennessee and Cross Timbers of Oklahoma, USA,” was published in Fire Ecology. The study was coauthored by MU Associate Professor Richard Guyette along with Joseph Marschall and Daniel Dey of the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station located at MU.
Tyler Ludens wrote:
Bethany Dutch wrote: I got a serious side-eye from a fellow permaculturist the other day for suggesting something similar.
Are they suggesting that all permaculturists be independently wealthy? Or are they saying that all permaculturists should be destitute?
When people say things like "permaculturists shouldn't charge for their work" I really have to wonder how the heck they live - are they allowed to charge for their services?
Doesn't make a lick of sense to me.
To make a building egoless, the builder must let go of all his willful images, and start with a void. You are able to do this only when you no longer fear that nothing will happen, and you can therefore afford to let go of your images. At this stage, the building’s life will come directly from your language.
Yet , at the very moment when you first relax, and let the language generate the buildings in your mind, you will begin to see how limited your language is. One place can have good patterns in it and be dead. Another place can be without the patterns which apply to it, and yet still be alive.
The pattern ALCOVE–which first functioned as an intellectual crutch–is no longer necessary to you. You see reality directly, like an animal. You make the alcove as an animal might make an alcove–not because of the concept–but directly, simply because it is appropriate.
Theresa Whited wrote:Brad,
I will have a gun safe, I will take a conceal and carry class, I will learn my gun inside and out and shoot regularly to stay familiar and everything else we have spoken of. Just so we all know that there's not another "idiot with a gun".
I do believe the surveillance is the best protection. Unfortunately most of them are for computer users and that is sometimes hard for people in remote areas. The thing about is as long as you replace the batteries you can always delete old images and then if something did happen you would have it on the camera.