Dr. Monica G.Turner
Department of Zoology
University of Wisconsin
430 Lincoln Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
Ecosystem and
Landscape Ecology Lab
 

data

PATCHES METADATA

CLASS I. DATA SET DESCRIPTORS

  1. Data set identity: Effects of fire size and pattern on early succession in Yellowstone National Park.
  2. Data set identification code: YNPpatches.txt
  3. Data set description
  4. Principal Investigators: Monica G. Turner, William H. Romme and Robert H. Gardner
    Contact Information: Monica G. Turner, Department of Zoology, Birge Hall, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI 53706. 608-262-2592, turnermg @ wisc.edu, http://landscape.zoology.wisc.edu/index.html

    Primary citation: Turner, M. G., W. H. Romme, R. H. Gardner and W. W. Hargrove.  1997.  Effects of fire size and pattern on early succession in Yellowstone National Park. Ecological Monographs 67:411-433.

    Additional citations:
    Turner, M. G., W. H. Romme and D. B. Tinker.  2003. Surprises and lessons from the 1988 Yellowstone fires. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 1:351-358.

    Romme W. H., and M. G. Turner. 2004. Ten years after the 1988 Yellowstone fires: is restoration needed?  Pages 318-361 In:  L. L. Wallace, editor.  After the fires: the ecology of change in Yellowstone National Park. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut. 

    Abstract: The Yellowstone fires of 1988 affected >250,000 ha, creating a mosaic of burn severities across the landscape and providing an ideal opportunity to study effects of fire size and pattern on postfire succession.  We asked whether vegetation responses differed between small and large burned patches within the fire-created mosaic in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) and evaluated the influence of spatial patterning on the postfire vegetation. Vegetation in a small (1 ha), moderate (70-200 ha) and large (500-3600 ha) burned patch at each of three geographic locations was sampled annually from 1990 to 1993 and again in 1996. 

  5. Key words: Yellowstone National Park; secondary succession; spatial pattern; landscape ecology; Pinus contorta; patch size; disturbance; fire ecology; spatial heterogeneity.

CLASS II. RESEARCH ORIGIN DESCRIPTORS

  1. Overall project description
  2. Identity: Effects of fire size and pattern on early succession in Yellowstone National Park.

    Originator: Monica G. Turner (contact information above), William H. Romme and Robert H. Gardner.

    Period of Study: 1990-1993, 1996

    Objectives: We asked whether vegetation responses differ between small and large burned patches within the fire-created mosaic in YNP and evaluated the importance of spatial patterning and fire severity on the postfire vegetation.

    Abstract: Same as above.

    Sources of funding: National Geographic Society (Grant No. 4284-90), National Science Foundation (BSR - 9016281 and BSR-90118381), and Ecological Research Division, Office of Health and Environmental Research,  U.S. Department of Energy, under contract no. DE-AC05-84OR21400 with Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc.

     

  3. Specific subproject description
  4. Site description/selection criteria: In order to establish three replicates of three patch sizes that differed in size by an order of magnitude, we selected a small (1 ha), moderate (70-200 ha) and large (500-3600 ha) patch of crown fire at three geographic locations (Table 2) across the subalpine plateau.  Regions of lesser burn severity were contained within and around each patch.  Selection was based on patch size and accessibility based on digital satellite imagery. Availability of accessible large crown-fire patches was limited, and the large patch at Yellowstone Lake was substantially larger than at the other two locations.

    Site type: Subalpine forested plateau

    Geography: 
    Cougar Creek: Westcentral YNP


    PATCH SIZE

    CENER POINT COORDINATES

    large

    505001, 4951353

    moderate

    503835, 4946212

    small

    504593, 4947472

    Fern Cascades: Southwestern YNP near Old Faithful


    PATCH SIZE

    CENER POINT COORDINATES

    large

    512726, 4921138

    moderate

    509858, 4923901

    small

    514727, 4920299

    Yellowstone Lake: Southeastern YNP


    PATCH SIZE

    CENER POINT COORDINATES

    large

    555432,4896617

    moderate

    554447,4902793

    small

    555839,4905336

    Habitat: Coniferous forests dominated by lodgepole pine, although subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii Parry), and whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.) may be locally abundant.

    Geology:
    Cougar Creek: Ryolite and tuff (moderately infertile Quaternary volcanics)
    Fern Cascades: Ryolite (moderately infertile Quaternary volcanics)
    Yellowstone Lake: Lake sediments and andesite (moderately fertile Eocene volcanics)

    Watersheds/hydrology: N/A

    Site history:
    Cougar Creek: ~130-year-old even-aged stands that originated after fires in 1860s.
    Fern Cascades: ~290-year-old even-aged stands that originated after fires in early 1700s.
    Yellowstone Lake: ~250-year-old even-aged stands that originated mid 1700’s (small and moderate patches); >400 year-old uneven aged stand (large patch).

    Climate: The climate is generally cool and dry; on the plateau, mean January temperature is -11.4 °C and mean July temperature is 10.8 °C (Dirks and Martner 1982). Mean annual precipitation is 56.25 cm with relatively moist springs and dry summers (Dirks and Martner 1982).

    Sampling methods: In July 1990, four permanent transects were established in each of the nine patches, extending from the center to the edge of the patch along subcardinal directions (NE, NW, SW, and SE).  Transects varied in length, depending on patch size and shape.  The edge of the patch was defined by unburned forest, a light-surface burn, a topographic barrier or an unforested area.  Sampling on each transect began 20 m from the center point of the patch and continued at fixed intervals (20 m in the small patches, 100-m in moderate patches and the large patches at Fern Cascades and Cougar Creek and 200 m in the large patch at Yellowstone Lake) as long as the transect continued through areas affected by crown fire.  At transitions between burn severity classes (e.g., between crown fire and a severe-surface burn), sampling points were located on the edge and at three 20-m intervals on either side of the edge.  Subsequent sampling points were again located at the fixed intervals until the next edge was encountered. Sampling points were marked in the field with wooden stakes, flagging and rock cairns and were sampled during July and August of 1990-1993 and again in 1996.

                A 50-m2 circular plot was centered on each sampling point, and slope, aspect, and burn severity were recorded in 1990.  The proportion of prefire serotinous lodgepole pine trees was recorded within a 50-m radius of the sampling point was recorded in 1992 following methods in Tinker et al. (1994).  For vegetation measurements, an 8-m line was centered on the sampling point and extended perpendicular to the main axis of the transect. Percent cover data were recorded within eight 0.25-m2 plots spaced at 1-m intervals along this line. At each point in a 25-point 0.5-m x 0.5-m point-intercept frame (cf. Floyd and Anderson [1982, 1987]), the underlying plant species or cover type (exposed mineral soil, unburned litter, charred litter, pebble, cobble, or boulder) was recorded. Percent cover was determined by aggregating the data from the eight 0.25-m2 plots.  Species richness was measured by recording all species within an area extending 1 m along the 8-m line.  Nomenclature follows Dorn (1992).

                Individuals of Epilobium angustifolium, Lupinus argenteus, Arnica cordifolia, Carex geyeri, Carex rossii, Pinus contorta and Vaccinium scoparium  were censused within each of the eight 0.25-m2 plots with perennials classified as seedlings of the year or sprouts based on morphological characters (Turner et al. unpublished data).  Pinus contorta seedlings were counted annually and the counts recorded by seedling age (yrs) to estimate recruitment through time.

                Opportunistic species (Cirsium arvense, Collinsia parviflora, Gayophytum diffusum, and Lactuca serriola), which frequently were sparse at individual sampling points, were sampled along 1-m wide belt transects between sampling points.  Belt transects were established using hip chains to record the total number of individuals observed within 0.5 m on either side of the transect.

    Taxonomy and systematics: Dorn, R. D. 1992.  Vascular plants of Wyoming.  2nd Edition. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

CLASS III. DATA SET STATUS AND ACCESSIBILITY

For internal use only.

CLASS IV. DATA STRUCTURAL DESCRIPTORS

  1. Data set file
  2. Identity: YNPpatches.txt

    Size: 690 kb

    Format and storage mode: ASCII text, tab delimited. No compression scheme was used.

    Missing value code: “.”

    Header information: See variable names in Section B.

    Alphanumeric attributes: Uppercase

    Authentication procedures: Column sums (see tables below)

  3. Variable information

Variable Name

Variable definition

Units

Range for Numeric Values

Column sum

General information about sampling point

YEAR

Year sampled

N/A

 

 

SITE

Name of site (Cougar, Lake or Fern)

N/A

 

 

PATCH

Small, medium or large patch size

N/A

 

 

TRANS

Orientation of transect (NE, NW, SW or SE)

N/A

 

 

DCTR

Distance along transect from center of patch

meters

 

 

ELEV

Elevation of sampling point

meters

2112-2666

4116855

SLOPE

Slope

degrees

0-40

22603

ASP

Aspect

N/A

1-7

6150

BURN

0=unburned, no sign of fire effects;
1=light surface burn. Low-intensity surface fire in which canopy trees retain green needles and generally did not die, although some stems scorched. Soil organic layer still largely intact, though burned in small patches.
2=severe surface burn. High-intensity surface fire with extensive canopy tree mortality, but needles on canopy trees are not consumed by fire; pre-fire soil organic layer largely consumed, but soil covered by dead leaves fallen from the canopy after the fire.
3=crown fire. Needles of canopy trees completely consumed by fire; soil organic layer almost entirely consumed, and soil is bare with no litter.

BURNCL

CR=crown fire (3); SB-severe-surface fire, brown needles (2); SG=light-surface fire, green needles (1).

This is a character value for burn severity (BURN)

 

SCSSN

Successional stage classification:
LP0 (0-40 yrs) = Recently burned lodgepole pine stands in the grass to seedling/sapling stage before canopy closure; trees usually < 2 m in height.
LP1 (40-150 yrs) = Closed canopy of even-aged, often dense lodgepole pine; young pole stage.
LP2 (150-300 yrs) = Closed canopy dominated by lodgepole pine; overstory still largely intact; understory may contain small conifers, but is generally open and park like.
LP3 (>300 yrs)=Canopy quite irregular, predominantly of old lodgepole pine but containing some Engelman spruce, subalpine fir and whitebark pine in the pole-sized class; understory usually dense.

SRCEI

Distance to nearest unburned forest meters

meters

0-655

290215

SRCEII

Distance to nearest severe-surface burn

meters

0-425

122845

NSEROT

Number of pre-fire serotinous trees of 12 trees scored for serotiny

No. (0 to 12) of 12 trees scored for serotiny in a 50-m radius plot

0-12

5314

PSEROT

Percent of pre-fire serotinous trees surrounding each sampling point (computed as NUMSEROT/12) * 100

Percent

 

 

Plant species richness

RICH

Number of plant species within 8m x 1m transect

Number

0-33

24064

Belt transect data from focal point to next point

BCIAR

Number of Cirsium arvense stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-68462

1583552.5

BCOPA

Number of Collinsia parviflora stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-650000

10433127.97

BGADI

Number of Gayophytum diffusum stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-1666667

37867462.16

BLETT

Number of Lactuca serriola stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-10000

98880.03

BPICO1

Number of 1st yr Pinus contorta stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-70000

263805

BPICO2

Number of 2nd yr Pinus contorta stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-180000

1328240

BPICO3

Number of 3rd yr Pinus contorta stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-820000

5738788

BPICO4

Number of 4th yr Pinus contorta stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-616000

8191351

BPICO5

Number of 5th yr Pinus contorta stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-41520

520808

BPICOX

Number of all other Pinus contorta stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-625000

11167287

BPOTR1

Number of 1st yr Populus tremuloides stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-10000

62708.43

BPOTR2

Number of 2nd yr Populus tremuloides stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-20000

251489.73

BPOTR3

Number of 3rd yr Populus tremuloides stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-14500

184437

BPOTR4

Number of 4th yr Populus tremuloides stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-11500

180811

BPOTR5

Number of 5th yr Populus tremuloides stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-11000

103192

BPOTRX

Number of all other post-fire Populus tremuloides stems per hectare

Number / ha

0-45000

388754.94

Percent cover data

PARCO

Percent cover of Arnica cordifolia

Percent

0-40

3181.5

PEPAN

Percent cover of Epilobium angustifolium

Percent

0-72.5

34591.3

PLUAR

Percent cover of Lupinus argenteus

Percent

0-31.5

1700.83

POFRBS

Percent cover of all other forbs

Percent

0-72.5

16184.37

PCACA

Percent cover of Calamagrostis canadensis

Percent

0-86.5

1494

PCAGE

Percent cover of Carex geyeri

Percent

0-47

3706.33

PCALA

Percent cover of Calamagrostis spp.(only recorded in 1996)

Percent

0-86.5

7503.6

PCARO

Percent cover of Carex rossii

Percent

0-46.5

6650.9

PCARU

Percent cover of Calamagrostis rubescens

Percent

0-52

3088.6

POGRMS

Percent cover of all other graminoids

Percent

0-95

17258.77

PCEVE

Percent cover of Ceanothus velutinus

Percent

0-33

319

PVASC

Percent cover of Vaccinium scoparium

Percent

0-75

3969.17

POSHRB

Percent cover of all other shrubs

Percent

0-35

2083

PABLA

Percent cover of Abies lasiocarpa

Percent

0-17.5

78.5

PPIAL

Percent cover of Pinus albicaulis

Percent

0-55.5

103

PPICO

Percent cover of Pinus contorta

Percent

0-60.5

8840.6

PPIEN

Percent cover of Picea engelmannii

Percent

0-8

19.5

PPOTR

Percent cover of Populus tremuloides

Percent

0-8

156.5

PBOUL

Percent cover of boulders

Percent

0-30

2173.2

PCOBB

Percent cover of cobbles

Percent

0-19

2850.8

PPEBB

Percent cover of pebbles

Percent

0-80

13659

PSOIL

Percent cover of bare mineral soil

Percent

0-94.5

58621.13

PMOSS

Percent cover of moss

Percent

0-58.5

10135.1

PLITR

Percent cover of unburned litter

Percent

0-93

59899.03

PCHAR

Percent cover of charred litter

Percent

0-44.5

6434.63

PROOT

Percent cover of tree roots

Percent

0-28

3320.9

PLOG

Percent cover of logs

Percent

0-57

24166.93

PH2O

Percent cover of open water

Percent

0-12.5

47.9

PCIAR

Percent cover of Cirsium arvense

Percent

0-24.5

335.5

PCOPA

Percent cover of Collinsia parviflora

Percent

0-11.5

169

PGADI

Percent cover of Gayophytum diffusum

Percent

0-49.5

1227

PHIAL

Percent cover of Hieracium albiflorum

Percent

0-7

193.5

PLETT

Percent cover of Lactuca serriola

Percent

0-2

3.5

Censuses for selected species (includes tree seedlings)

ACSDL

Number of Arnica cordifolia seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-30

526

ACSPR

Number of Arnica cordifolia sprouts per m2

No. / m2

0-106.5

10697.5

EASDL

Number of Epilobium angustifolium seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-300

6903.5

EASPR

Number of Epilobium angustifolium sprouts per m2

No. / m2

0-123.5

43003.3

LASDL

Number of Lupinus argenteus seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-11

304.5

LASPR

Number of Lupinus argenteus sprouts per m2

No. / m2

0-29

2035.5

CRXSDL

Number of Carex spp. seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-53

319.5

CGESPR

Number of Carex geyeri sprouts per m2

No. / m2

0-110.5

4773.5

CROSPR

Number of Carex rossiix sprouts per m2

No. / m2

0-63

5417

VSSDL

Number of Vaccinium scoparium seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-5

13

VSSPR

Number of Vaccinium scoparium sprouts per m2

No. / m2

0-102

12105

COPA

Number of Collinsia parviflora per m2

No. / m2

0-370

5152

GADI

Number of Gayophytum diffusum per m2

No. / m2

0-690

13407.5

LETT

Number of Lactuca serriola per m2

No. / m2

0-2.5

27

CASDL

Number of Cirsium arvense seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-5.5

25

CASPR

Number of Cirsium arvense sprouts per m2

No. / m2

0-35

475

HASDL

Number of Hieracium albiflorum seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-109

538

HASPR

Number of Hieracium albiflorum sprouts per m2

No. / m2

0-40

621

PICO1

Number of 1st year Pinus contorta seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-51.5

1030.5

PICO2

Number of 2nd year Pinus contorta seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-127.5

4625.5

PICO3

Number of 3rd year Pinus contorta seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-218

4227

PICO4

Number of 4th year Pinus contorta seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-101.5

2376

PICO5

Number of 5th year Pinus contorta seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-50

411.5

PICOX

Total number of Pinus contorta seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-315.5

5667.7

ABLA

Number of Abies lasiocarpa seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-2

6

PIAL

Number of Pinus albicaulis seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-8.5

14

PIEN

Number of Piecea engelmannii seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-1.5

3.5

PSME1

Number of 1st year Pseudotsuga menziesii seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-2

5

PSME2

Number of 2nd year Pseudotsuga menziesii seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-9

56

PSMEX

Number of all other Pseudotsuga menziesii seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-10

107

POTR1

Number of 1st year Populus tremuloides seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-13

59

POTR2

Number of 2nd year Populus tremuloides seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-8.5

79

POTR3

Number of 3rd year Populus tremuloides seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-73.5

137

POTR4

Number of 4th year Populus tremuloides seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-2.5

43.5

POTR5

Number of 5th year Populus tremuloides seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-3.5

15

POTRX

Number of all other Populus tremuloides seedlings per m2

No. / m2

0-7

61