Tamarisk invasion and fire in Southwestern desert ecosystems

Presenter: Gail Drus, St. Francis University

  • 11am pm MDT April 2, 2015 (10am AZ)

Increased wildfire has been observed with the displacement of native cottonwood-willow (Salix and Populus spp.) gallery forests by invasive, non-native tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in desert riparian zones of North America. Greater post-fire recovery of Tamarix relative to native species suggests a Tamarix fire trajectory where repeated fire excludes native riparian species. This work synthesizes several experiments and addresses 2 questions: 1) Is there a positive feedback between Tamarix and fire intensity that excludes native vegetation? 2) Can the Tamarix fire trajectory be altered to allow the coexistence of natives?
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This is a jointly sponsored webinar with the SWFSC and the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Fires of Change

This project is designed to integrate fire and climate science with art to offer a unique interpretation for the northern Arizona community. Together with partners, Landscape Conservation Initiative (LCI) and Flagstaff Arts Council (FAC), we selected 11 artists to participate. In September 2014, these artists attended field trips to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and other locations in northern Arizona with fire managers and scientists to learn about fire and climate science. They will turn their learning experience into art pieces for a September 2015 exhibit in conjunction with the Flagstaff Festival of Science. For more information on the exhibit, visit the FAC website. The LCI blog will follow artist progress until the exhibit here. We also created a short video “teaser” to provide a basic description of the process for this project below.

Fires of Change Field Trip Materials are available here:


Managing Fire, Understanding Ourselves:  Human Dimensions in Safety and Wildland Fire, IAWF, April 20-24, 2015 in Boise, Idaho

6th International Fire Ecology & Management Congress: Advancing Ecology in Fire Management, AFE, November 16-20, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas