Stream-Riparian Ecosystems and Mixed- and High-Severity Fire

Breeanne K. Jackson, S. Mažeika P. Sullivan, Colden V. Baxter, Rachel L. Malison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Because of the linked nature of stream-riparian ecosystems, the highly adapted organisms and food webs that inhabit them, and the disproportionate contribution of natural resources from stream-riparian areas, the role of wildfire in these ecosystems may be essential to managing biodiversity and conservation across landscapes. The diverse array of organisms that inhabit stream-riparian ecosystems respond to wildfire across a gradient of fire severity. In addition, time since fire and annual timing of fires can interact with other sources of disturbance and life-history events to influence stream-riparian systems across levels of ecological organization. The degree of impact wildfire has also depends on spatial aspects, including extent and patchiness, as well as interactions with anthropogenic disturbance. For example, if characteristic stream-riparian continuity is disrupted or other natural features are impaired or lost as a result of human activities, detrimental effects can occur. In general, stream-riparian organisms are highly adapted to natural disturbance processes, and the occurrence of dynamic, mixed-severity fire regimes may be necessary to maintain ecological integrity and native biodiversity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires
Subtitle of host publicationNature's Phoenix
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780128027608
ISBN (Print)9780128027493
StatePublished - Jun 23 2015


  • Bats
  • Benthic
  • Birds
  • Disturbance-adapted
  • Erosion
  • Fish
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • Food webs
  • Riparian
  • Scouring flows
  • Shifting mosaic
  • Spiders
  • Streams


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