Media Advisory: Wildfire, Forest Management, and Climate Resources

The Ecological Society of America updates its virtual issue on wildfire with scientists available for expert comment


January 8, 2020
For Immediate Release

Contact: Zoe Gentes, gro.asenull@setnegz, (202) 833-8773


Rim Fire, California 2013. Mike McMillan, USFS.

The Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest, California, in late August, 2013. Photo courtesy of Mike McMillan/ U.S. Forest Service.

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has updated its virtual issue on “Wildfire, Forest Management, and Climate.” ESA scientists with expertise on wildfire drivers, ecosystem impacts, and other related issues are available for comment and to respond to questions and inquiries.

As the likelihood and intensity of fires is increasing amid drought and climate warming, multiple approaches for understanding and mitigation are needed worldwide. Complex interactions of vegetation, land-use, topography, moisture regimes, fuel loads, ignition, human habitation, and post-fire succession require study and historical data analysis, as well as monitoring how affected species respond.


ESA Wildfire Experts

The following ESA members have expertise related to wildfire issues and are available for comment. For help with other ESA fire experts, contact Alison Mize at gro.asenull@nosila.

Scott L. Collins, Distinguished Professor
University of New Mexico
Collins is a community/ecosystem ecologist who studies the impact of natural disturbances and global environmental change on mesic and arid grassland ecosystems. He is particularly interested in the interactive effects of fire, grazing, and drought in mesic grasslands in North America and South Africa, and how rainfall variability, temperature change, and shrub encroachment affect aridland ecosystems in the southwestern US.

Lisa M. Ellsworth, Assistant Professor
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University
Ellsworth is an Assistant Professor and habitat ecologist in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. She has more than 20 years’ experience working with wildfire, first as a firefighter and then as a researcher. Her current work spans issues of fire behavior and ecosystem response to fire in forests and rangelands. 

Matthew Hurteau, Associate Professor
University of New Mexico
Hurteau is a forest and fire ecologist with a research focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation in forest systems. He uses field studies and simulation modeling to better understand how changing climate, wildfire, and forest management influence tree species distributions, productivity, and carbon dynamics.

Monica G. Turner, Eugene P. Odum Professor of Ecology and Vilas Research Professor
University of Wisconsin
Turner is an ecosystem and landscape ecologist who has studied fire and vegetation dynamics in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the western United States. She has studied the consequences of the 1988 Yellowstone Fires for over 30 years, as well as more recent fires. Her work emphasizes effects of changing climate and fire activity on forest resilience.

Giorgio Vacchiano, Assistant Professor
University of Milan, Italy
+39 329 6497188
Vacchanio is a researcher in forest management and planning at University of Milan, Italy. His research deals with climate mitigation by forests, climate change effects on forest ecosystems – including after disturbances such as forest fire, or wind damage – and adaptive forest management to increase climate mitigation and reduce forest vulnerability. He is a science communicator and was included among 11 top emerging scientists globally by Nature in 2018.


ESA Virtual Fire Issue

ESA’s virtual issue features relevant papers from across our peer-reviewed journals. The collection can be found here, or you can find individual titles below.



Spatiotemporal variability of human–fire interactions on the Navajo Nation
Guiterman, C. H., Margolis, E. Q., Baisan, C. H., Falk, D. A., Allen, C. D., and Swetnam, T. W.. 2019.

The missing fire: quantifying human exclusion of wildfire in Pacific Northwest forests, USA 
Haugo, R. D., Kellogg, B. S., Cansler, C. A., Kolden, C. A., Kemp, K. B., Robertson, J. C., Metlen, K. L., Vaillant, N. M., and Restaino, C. M.. 2019. 

Repeated fires reduce plant diversity in low‐elevation Wyoming big sagebrush ecosystems (1984–2014)
Mahood, A. L., and Balch, J. K.. 2019. 

Living on the edge: trailing edge forests at risk of fire‐facilitated conversion to non‐forest 
Parks, S. A., Dobrowski, S. Z., Shaw, J. D., and Miller, C.. 2019. 

Tree recruitment dynamics in fire‐prone eucalypt savanna
Russell‐Smith, J., Evans, J., Macdermott, H., Brocklehurst, P., Schatz, J., Lynch, D., Yates, C., and Edwards, A.. 2019.

Recoupling fire and grazing reduces wildland fuel loads on rangelands
Starns, H. D., Fuhlendorf, S. D., Elmore, R. D., Twidwell, D., Thacker, E. T., Hovick, T. J., and Luttbeg, B.. 2019. 

Could restoration of a landscape to a pre‐European historical vegetation condition reduce burn probability? 
Stockdale, C. A., McLoughlin, N., Flannigan, M., and Macdonald, S. E.. 2019. 

Spotted Owls and forest fire: a systematic review and meta‐analysis of the evidence
Lee, D. E.. 2018

Climate changes and wildfire alter vegetation of Yellowstone National Park, but forest cover persists
Clark, J. A., Loehman, R. A., and Keane, R. E.. 2017.

Wildfire‐mediated vegetation change in boreal forests of Alberta, Canada
Stralberg, D., Wang, X., Parisien, M., Robinne, F., Sólymos, P., Mahon, C. L., Nielsen, S. E., and Bayne, E. M.. 2018.



Browsing and fire decreases dominance of a resprouting shrub in woody encroached grassland 
O’Connor, R. C., Taylor, J. H., and Nippert, J. B.. 2019. 

Better lucky than good: How savanna trees escape the fire trap in a variable world
Hoffmann, W. A., Sanders, R. W., Just, M. G., Wall, W. A., and Hohmann, M. G.. 2020. 

Post‐fire forest regeneration shows limited climate tracking and potential for drought‐induced type conversion. 
Young, D. J. N., Werner, C. M., Welch, K. R., Young, T. P., Safford, H. D., and Latimer, A. M.. 2019. 

Pausas, J. G., Bradstock, R. A., Keith, D. A., and Keeley, J. E.. 2004.

Caught in a fire trap: Recurring fire creates stable size equilibria in woody resprouters
Grady, J. M., and Hoffmann, W. A.. 2012.

Multi‐trophic resilience of boreal lake ecosystems to forest fires
Lewis, L., Lindberg, M. S., Schmutz, J. A., and Bertram, M. R.. 2014.



Origins of abrupt change? Postfire subalpine conifer regeneration declines nonlinearly with warming and drying
Hansen, W. D., and Turner, M. G.. 2019. 

Deterministic and stochastic processes lead to divergence in plant communities 25 years after the 1988 Yellowstone fires
Romme, W. H., Whitby, T. G., Timker, D. B., Turner, and M. G.. 2016.

Fire history in a western Fennoscandian boreal forest as influenced by human land use and climate
Rolstad, J., Blanck, Y., and Storaunet, K. O.. 2017.



Future changes in fire weather, spring droughts, and false springs across U.S. National Forests and Grasslands
Martinuzzi, S., Allstadt, A. J., Pidgeon, A. M., Flather, C. H., Jolly, W. M., and Radeloff, V. C.. 2019. 

Large‐scale forest restoration stabilizes carbon under climate change in Southwest United States 
McCauley, L. A., Robles, M. D., Woolley, T., Marshall, R. M., Kretchun, A., and Gori, D. F. 2019. 

Limitations to recovery following wildfire in dry forests of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, USA 
Rodman, K C., Veblen, T. T., Chapman, T. B., Rother, M. T., Wion, A. P., and Redmond, M. D.. 2020. 

Deconstructing the King megafire
Coen, J. L., Stravos, E. N., and Fites‐Kaufman, J. A.. 2018.

Factors related to building loss due to wildfires in the conterminous United States
Alexandre, P. M., Stewart, S. I., Keuler, N. S., Clayton, M. K., Mockrin, M. H., Bar-Massada, A., Syphard, A. D., and Radeloff, V. C.. 2016.



Wildfires as an ecosystem service
Pausas, J.G., and Keeley, J.E. 2019.

Twenty‐five years of the Northwest Forest Plan: what have we learned?
Spies, T. A., Long, J. W., Charnley, S., Hessburg, P. F., Marcot, B. G., Reeves, G. H., Lesmeister, D. B., Reilly, M. J., Cerveny, L. K., Stine, P. A., and Raphael, M. G.. 2019.

Megafires: an emerging threat to old‐forest species
Jones, G. M., Gutiérrez, R. J., Tempel, D. J., Whitmore, S. A., Berigan, W. J., and Peery, M. Z.. 2016.

Large‐scale restoration increases carbon stability under projected climate and wildfire regimes
Liang, S., Hurteau, M. D., and Westerling, A. L.. 2018.

Smokey comes of age: unmanned aerial systems for fire management
Twidwell, D., Allen, C. R., Detweiler, C., Higgins, J., Laney, C., and Elbaum, S.. 2016.



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