Climate Change Vulnerabilities and Adaptation Strategies to Wildfire in the Southwestern U.S.

Mark Schwartz
Posted on: 7/18/2022 - Updated on: 7/18/2022

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CakeX Site Admin


Differing, often negative, responses to wildfire occur in plant communities in the southwestern U.S. under stress caused by climate change. This project aims to create a climate, fire, and vegetation vulnerability assessment for forests and woodlands in the Southwest to assist in strategic land management decision-making. This study will analyze the impact of climate change on wildfires, and assess where and when plant communities are predicted to exhibit stress as a consequence of unusual climatic conditions. Understanding fire behavior probabilities and forest vulnerabilities will provide decision support for the deployment of fuels management (prescribed fire and mechanical fuels reduction), as well as for appropriate management responses to wildfire events. Moreover, an understanding of how vegetation is likely to change with climate will allow proactive land management decisions to guide forested ecosystems toward stable, functioning future states.


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