NCEAS Project 12141

Relative influence of fuels, climate, and ignition on fire frequency across earth's ecosystems

  • Jennifer K. Balch

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Postdoctoral Fellow1st January 2009—11th July 2012Participant List  

Abstract
Fire is a critical catalyst of climate and vegetation change across the globe. Future shifts in fire regimes -- associated with anthropogenic change -- may alter ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles on a global scale. Yet, modeling efforts largely ignore fire in global vegetation and climate projections. Therefore, I propose to synthesize published data on fuel production, climate, and ignition sources with reconstructed fire histories in order to investigate the determinants of fire frequency across scales and ecosystems. Rather than gauge how fire influences the biosphere, I plan to assess the factors that control the global fire cycle. This fire-centric approach will illuminate the biotic and abiotic factors that increase fire frequency. Moreover, the results will provide mechanistic insights into historical fire patterns and bolster predictions of future fire regimes in an era of accelerating global land-cover and climate change.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Balch, Jennifer K.; Nepstad, Daniel C.; Brando, Paulo M.; Alencar, Ane. 2010. Comment on the incidence of fire in Amazonian forests with implications for REDD. Science. Vol: 330. Pages 1627-b.
Journal Article Balch, Jennifer K.; Nepstad, Daniel C.; Curran, Lisa M.; Brando, Paulo M.; Portela, Osvaldo; Guilherme, Paulo; Reuning-Scherer, Jonathan D.; de Carvalho, Oswaldo Jr. 2011. Size, species,and fire behavior predict tree and liana mortality from experimental burns in the Brazilian Amazon. Forest Ecology and Management. Vol: 1. Pages 68-77.
Data Set Balch, Jennifer K. 2012. Fire-induced tree mortality in a tropical forest: The roles of bark traits, tree size, wood density, and fire behavior. (Online version)
Data Set Balch, Jennifer K. 2012. Introduced annual grass increases regional fire activity across the arid western USA 1980-2009. (Online version)
Data Set Balch, Jennifer K. 2012. Size, species, and fire behavior predict tree and liana mortality from experimental burns in the Brazilian Amazon . (Online version)
Journal Article Balch, Jennifer K.; Bradley, Bethany A.; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Gómez-Dans, José. 2013. Introduced annual grass increases regional fire activity across the arid western USA (1980-2009). Global Change Biology. Vol: 19(1). Pages 173-183. (Online version)
Journal Article Bowman, David; Balch, Jennifer K.; Artaxo, Paulo; Bond, William J.; Carlson, Jean; Cochrane, Mark; D'Antonio, Carla M.; DeFries, Ruth S.; Doyle, John C.; Harrison, Sandy P.; Johnston, Fay; Keeley, Jon; Krawchuk, Meg A.; Kull, Christian; Marston, John B.; Moritz, Max A.; Prentice, I. Colin; Roos, Christopher; Scott, Andrew C.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; van der Werf, Guido; Pyne, Stephen J. 2009. Fire in the earth system. Science. Vol: 324. Pages 481-484.
Journal Article Bowman, David; Balch, Jennifer K.; Artaxo, Paulo; Bond, William J.; Cochrane, Mark; D'Antonio, Carla M.; DeFries, Ruth S.; Johnston, Fay; Keeley, Jon; Krawchuk, Meg A.; Kull, Christian; Mack, Michelle C.; Moritz, Max A.; Pyne, Stephen J.; Roos, Christopher; Scott, Andrew C.; Sodhi, Navjot S.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 2011. The human dimension of fire regimes on Earth. Journal of Biogeography. Vol: 38(12). Pages 2223-2236. (Online version)
Journal Article Brando, Paulo M.; Nepstad, Daniel C.; Balch, Jennifer K.; Bolker, Benjamin; Christman, Mary C.; Coe, Michael T.; Putz, Francis E. 2012. Fire-induced tree mortality in a neotropical forest: The roles of bark traits, tree size, wood density and fire behavior. Global Change Biology. Vol: 18(2). Pages 630-641. (Online version)
Journal Article Carvalho, Karine S.; Alencar, Ane; Balch, Jennifer K.; Moutinho, Paulo. 2012. Leafcutter ant nests inhibit low-intensity fire spread in the understory of transitional forests at the Amazon's forest-savanna boundary. Psyche: A Journal of Entomology. Vol: 2012. Pages 1-7. (Online version)
Journal Article Davidson, Eric A.; de Araujo, Alessandro C.; Artaxo, Paulo; Balch, Jennifer K.; Brown, I. Foster; Bustamante, Mercedes; Coe, Michael T.; DeFries, Ruth S.; Keller, Michael; Longo, Marcos; Munger, J. William; Schroeder, Wilfrid; Soares-Filho, Britaldo S.; Souza, Carlos M.; Wofsy, Steven C. 2012. The Amazon basin in transition. Nature. Vol: 481. Pages 321-328. (Online version)