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Abstract

Fire is a dominant driver of ecosystem patterns and processes across the Rocky Mountains. This chapter describes fire ecology and fire-related management for the major forest types in the Rocky Mountains. Major forest types included are ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, mixed-conifer, lodgepole pine, spruce-fir, five-needle pines, and aspen. For each forest type we describe historical fire regimes, interactions between fire and other disturbances, departures from historical patterns, and projected future patterns. We explain fire resistance and postfire recovery patterns. We also include projected alterations to fire regimes and ecological implications due to climate change , with common silvicultural and fuel treatment options for restoration and wildfire mitigation. This information provides a comprehensive examination of contemporary fire ecology and management options in the Rocky Mountains, couched in a historical perspective.

Ecoregions 15, Northern Rockies; 16, Idaho Batholith; 17, Middle Rockies; 19, Wasatch and Uinta Mountains; 21, Southern Rockies; 41, Canadian Rockies

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Correspondence to Sharon M. Hood .

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Hood, S.M. et al. (2021). Fire Ecology of Rocky Mountain Forests. In: Greenberg, C.H., Collins, B. (eds) Fire Ecology and Management: Past, Present, and Future of US Forested Ecosystems. Managing Forest Ecosystems, vol 39. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-73267-7_8

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