Disturbance Refugia After Fire, Drought, and Insect Outbreaks.

Our May meeting over Zoom will feature Dr. Meg Krawchuk of Oregon State University presenting her research on disturbance refugia within mosaics of forest fire, drought, and insect outbreaks.  There will also be two requests for letters of support for grant applications.

Abstract:  Disturbance refugia—locations disturbed less severely or frequently than the surrounding landscape—provide a framework to highlight where and why important biological legacies persist as adjacent areas change, and their value in sustaining biodiversity.  Recent studies of disturbance refugia in forest ecosystems have focused primarily on fire, with a growing recognition of important applications to land management.  The most obvious examples of fire refugia in forests are the live trees that persist post-fire within a burn mosaic: where do they occur, is any of that forest persistence predictable, and why do refugia matter?  Krawchuk will discuss concepts of disturbance refugia, and fire refugia in particular, to illustrate their importance for scientists and land managers, particularly in the context of climate change where refugia are in the “slow lane” of change.  For more details on disturbance refugia, and climate change refugia concepts, see (free access): https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/15409309/2020/18/5.

Biography:  Dr. Meg A. Krawchuk leads the Landscape Fire and Conservation Science Research Group at Oregon State University, in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society in the College of Forestry.  Together with her lab group, she focuses on landscape ecology, fire ecology, biogeography, and conservation science, working at scales from local to global, addressing the causes and effects of ecological disturbances, with a particular interest in landscape fire.  Krawchuk generally thinks of herself as a pyrogeographer (such a great word): studying biotic and abiotic conditions responsible for the spatial distribution of fire, the fire ecology that results post-fire in burn mosaics, and the cultural/societal context that sets this all in play.  Website: http://people.forestry.oregonstate.edu/meg-krawchuk/.

Letters of Support:  Letters of support are being requested by the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program – East for a program to educate residents on what they can do to reduce their risk of catastrophic fire and by Alpine County for their grant application for implementing the three Wildfire Risk Mitigation Plan (WRMP) Tier 1 projects.  Due to grant deadlines and the fact that the ABC participated in the WRMP this letter of support has already gone out.  The letters are attached to the meeting agenda which is available here.

Future Meetings:  In June we will have a presentation on Postfire Restoration Framework for National Forests in California (the just released GTR 270) with Dr. Marc Meyer et al, of the USFS.  Suggestions for possible speakers are always welcome.  Depending on the progress of covid-19 and whether agency partners can attend, it may be possible to resume in-person meetings.

The May meeting it will be Tuesday May 4th at 6:00 pm via Zoom video conference.  The Zoom link will be active beginning about 5:45 pm to give people time to chat and resolve any technical problems.  The connection information is below.  This time I tested the Zoom link to make sure it is correct!


Meeting ID: 842 4400 4600

Passcode: 095318

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Meeting ID: 876 9783 5270

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