Landscape Dynamics of Yellowstone National Park - Role of Fire 1690 to 1990
From Jeffrey Carpenter
These images were created from actual data collected in Yellowstone Park. These images represent each year from 1735 to 2090 we had a simulation code project into the future starting in 1989, and back to 1690). Red represents Fire, Yellow is right after fire, and darker and darker green is older and older stands since fire. We are studying how fire affects landscape diversity. Black represents water, stone, etc. We have a code to present different scenarios in fire suppression. The data was gathered by taking non-destructive core samples.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the affects of fire on landscape diversity. Many people believe that fires are dab in Yellowstone, but they are actually necessary to promote diversity. The video shows the dynamics of the landscape growth since 1690. Things to note are that at any given time, each of the age groups is represented. This shows good landscape diversity. From 1872 to 1972, there was a policy of complete fire suppression. You should notice the overall effect to become darker green during that time. There is also a detail video section on that time period comparing the actual data to what would have happened if there actually had bee *no* fires during that time. Other things to notice include how just prior to the large 1988 fire things were dark green (old) so it was natural to have a large fire. Also, one other thing is that some people claim that 1988 was completely unique, but actually, form 1690 to about 1735 fire covered about as much area as the 1988 fire. There is also a run on the video of what the forest would look like if there had been *no* fires since 1690. Notice it becomes predominantly dark green. There is very little diversity. This means such things as little food for ground feeding animals, etc...