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Fire in North American Wetland Ecosystems and Fire-Wildlife Relations: An Annotated Bibliography

Development of the Bibliography


Items included in this bibliography had to be published and had to address the use or the effects of fire in wetland ecosystems. Wetlands are defined as "lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water" (L. M. Cowardin et al. 1979. Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. U.S. Fish Wildl. Serv. FWS/OBS-79/31. 103 pp.). With the exception of theses and dissertations, we did not include unpublished literature (in-house studies, progress reports, etc. from government agencies), even though it is voluminous on the subject of fire-wetland relations. These latter items are available through searches of commercial databases, particularly the Fish and Wildlife Reference Service which includes reports from Pittman-Robertson and Dingle-Johnson Fish and Wildlife Restoration projects and the National Technical Information Service which offers a host of other unpublished government reports.

A primary data source for this bibliography was FIREBASE, a computerized data base covering all aspects of wildfire and prescribed burning, developed by the U.S. Forest Service (Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Northern Forest Fire Laboratory, Missoula, MT 59801). Other major sources included the following: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bibliography on the subject prepared in the mid-1970's (Rutkosky 1978); Proceedings of the Annual Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference; Wildlife Abstracts; Wildlife Review; The Journal of Wildlife Management; Transactions of the North American Wildlife (later Wildlife and Natural Resources) Conference; Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Game and Fish Commissioners; the Federal documents indexed in the Federal Depository Library of Colorado State University; the holdings of the Natural Resources Library, Department of Interior, Washington, DC; the holdings of the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station Library, U.S. Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO; everal published and unpublished reviews of the wetlands literature; and other documents cited in books and key papers which came to our attention during literature review. Additionally, we exhaustively searched the files of the commercial database provided by DIALOG Information Retrieval Services, Incorporated, Palo Alto, CA in 1983, and following the major drafting of the bibliography, again reviewed the DIALOG files in 1987. Several bibliographies on fire and fire effects were particularly helpful in providing access to the older literature. They are included in the annotated bibliography so that those with broader concerns may easily initiate literature reviews with different emphases.

The bibliography covers the literature available through July 1987 and is an attempt to be as complete as possible. We acknowledge, however, that despite diligent review, some pertinent articles may have escaped inclusion. This may be true particularly with regard to Masters theses that were never published and therefore received little citation in the published literature. Nonetheless, as with any literature review, some limits were developed for the compilation that require several qualifications to be applied to the claim of tt completeness" of coverage. First, we consciously limited the overall scope of the review to the North American literature and within that, further limited our coverage to only specific subsets of the total available literature. In order to keep the annotated bibliography to a reasonable size and to limit its potential redundancy to other bibliographies and on-line databases, we took several arbitrary steps. For example, we recognized early in our literature review that many articles on boreal forest and taiga ecosystems provided little information on the specific effects of or results from fire on wetlands in these systems even though fire was addressed [cf J. A- Larsen 1980. The boreal ecosystem. (Physiological Ecology Series, T. T. Kozlowski, ed.). Academic Press, New York. 500 pp. for a recent review with a focus on ecosystem relationships including general effects of fire]. Of more concern, however, was the large number of literature citations resulting from the rapid escalation of ecological investigations in the Far North, especially Alaska. We therefore included only selected documents on far northern ecosystems, and have emphasized recent compilations of the literature for these areas rather than the entire range of published studies. Similarly, many investigations of fire effects upon watersheds discuss changes in lake and stream chemistry, flow, and fauna. The focus of most of these, however, has been on short- and long-term effects upon nutrient and other chemical releases from entire watersheds, so we limited inclusion of these papers to those that discussed effects upon aspects other than the water column per se. Finally, the paleoecological and geological literature contain many studies that describe past environments and floral composition based upon analyses of lake stratigraphic sequences, pollen records, and coal deposits. Since fire's presence is usually only identified in these reviews, we deleted references that did not relate review of the historical record to present conditions and the current management of the wetlands involved.

Although the above limitations provided clear guidelines for inclusion of citations, we nonetheless wished to make this document a useful starting point for any investigation of fire-ecosystem relations. Thus, to make the review of more general value to the reader interested in a broad range of fire relations, we have included several review publications prepared by the U.S. Forest Service on overall fire effects (Lyon et al. 1978; Martin et al. 1979; Sandburg et al. 1980; Tiedemann et al. 1979; Wells et al. 1979; Lotan et al. 1981); several acknowledged major references on fire and fire effects (Brown and Davis 1973; Kozlowski and Ahlgren 1974; Wright and Bailey 1982), and several historically important review papers (U.S. Forest Service Library 1938; Folweiler and Brown 1946; Lutz 1956; Ahlgren and Ahlgren 1960).

The abstracts provided herein were obtained from several sources. When possible, authors' original abstracts or summaries, modified for clarity or brevity, were reproduced (denoted as "from authors' abstract"). If no abstract or summary was available, we prepared one (denoted as "K-L-S"). Many of the abstracted papers did not have fire effects as their major focus. Nonetheless, our abstracts emphasize the concern of this bibliography and do not provide details on the remainder of the document unless the subject matter is not clear from consideration of the title alone. An author index and a cross-referenced subject index follow the annotated abstracts.


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