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1 December 2008 Fire and Vegetation Dynamics in High-elevation Neotropical Montane Forests of the Dominican Republic
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Abstract
In March and April 2005, severe fires burned over 1000 km2 of tropical montane forests in the Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic. The fire burned through our network of permanent vegetation plots, which were established in 1999 to examine interactions among environment, vegetation, and disturbance. We used QuickBird satellite imagery combined with field surveys to map the extent and severity of the fire across the landscape. The fire burned through 96% of the pine forest but quickly extinguished at the pine–cloud forest boundary along most of the ecotone. Topographic factors and fire severity had no influence on fire behavior at the ecotone. These observations support our original hypothesis that fire maintains the abrupt boundary between the pine and cloud forest vegetation in these mountains. Vegetation structure and composition played a direct role in regulating fire spread and behavior in this landscape.
Ruth E. Sherman, Patrick H. Martin, Timothy J. Fahey and Steve D. Degloria "Fire and Vegetation Dynamics in High-elevation Neotropical Montane Forests of the Dominican Republic," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 37(7), (1 December 2008). https://doi.org/10.1579/0044-7447-37.7.535
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