Fire regime

n.  Characteristic fire traits occurring in ecosystems, including temporal, spatial, and other patterns.

 

  • Discussion

 

Fire regimes have been defined in terms of fire frequency, severity, stand effects, soil effects, landscape spatial patterns, seasons of occurrence, fire causation, and other descriptors.  However, fire frequency and severity are the most common traits studied by ecologists and used by land managers.  For example, fire regimes classifications often include a wide range of types, from frequent, low-severity fires to infrequent, high-severity fires.  

 

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Over the past 100 years or more, some long-established fire regimes, particularly the low- and mixed-severity types, have often shifted toward a pattern of more severe fires as a result of land management practices and possibly climate change. For further study, see Smith 2000.