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2012 Ka‘ahahui o ka Nāhelehele Dryland Symposium

2012_5: Dr Susan Cordell "The role of natural and anthropogenic fire regimes in shaping tropical dry forest succession"

Fires are a natural disturbance in terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Organisms that have evolved with fire typically have a suite of adaptations to ensure survival or colonization in the post-fire environment. Recent studies have indicated that even tropical ecosystems like those in Hawai‘i have historically experienced fire as a natural disturbance. Recently, however, the natural fire regime in many ecological systems has changed drastically, largely as a result of human activities that provide ready ignition sources, invasive plants that create large, continuous fuel loads, and/or climate change that alters microclimate and promotes fire. All of these factors have been at play in Hawai‘i over the past several decades, and have arguably led to larger and more frequent fires. Dr. Susan Cordell, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, USDA Forest Service Hilo, presents some of hers and co-author Kealoha Kinney’s ideas about how natural and anthropogenic fire regimes shape dry forest succession at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island.

This talk was presented at the 2012 Nahelehele Dryland Forest Symposium: "Connections" on February 24th, 2012 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The symposium highlight dryland forest ecology and restoration efforts in Hawai‘i.

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