The General Effects Of Fire On


Wildlife
Fire is an important part of many ecosystems and helps maintain the condition of habitats for wildlife. The effect of fire depends upon many factors, varying from the type of wildlife to their different habitats. Fire affects ungulates through positive, but often, short-lived improvements in diets by allowing ungulates to consume new plant growth. Fire mediates species interactions thereby reducing conflict. Birds are often positively benefited or unaffected by fire in the short-term. The beneficial role of fire on terrestrial ecosystems is contrary to the negative impact of fire on aquatic ecosystems. The long term effect of fire on wildlife is the maintenance of feeding ...

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in sediment flow. Fire is essential in maintaining biological diversity in the Northern Rocky Mountain forests.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS - AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS
Contrary to the beneficial impacts of fire on terrestrial wildlife, aquatic ecosystems are negatively affected, such as the decrease in fish populations by fire. In the North Fork Shoshone River adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, fish died from increased sediment flow during a heavy rainstorm two years after the canyon had burned (Armbruster, 1996). Fish are sensitive to sediment both in concentration and length of exposure. When fire clears vegetation on slopes surrounding a river, runoff from rainstorms carries sediment into the river, killing portions of the fish population by obstruction of the gills.

REGROWTH
After a fire it takes many years for all trees and shrubs to grow back to their former levels; up to three-hundred years in the northern Rockies (Fuller, 1991). Burned forests show effects many years ...

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fires in the short-term due to major losses of forage and the avoidance of burned locations by the caribou. However, these fires provide the long term benefit of ensuring some of the habitat will remain as jack pine (Pinus banksiana) forest, which provides greater forage quantity for caribou(Patent, 19??).
Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) are also benefited by long term maintenance of habitat. Plant species used most often by the Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) are located in pine forests which are replaced by hardwood forests in the forest succession. Fire maintains areas of jack pine forest thus benefiting the Key deer. In oak-jack pine forests, white-tailed ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/21/2006 11:33:27 AM
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1481
Pages: 6

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