How Megafires impact forest food web to be studied
December 4, 2016
• UC Davis scientist to examine the 2014 “King” fire
• “Forests are really at the heart of California economy, culture and its ecological heritage”
So-called “megafires” – which have become common in drought-dried California and were most recently seen in the Smokey Mountain fires in eastern Tennessee, are to be examined for their impact on the creatures of the forests and what they eat to survive.
University of California, Davis, Assistant Professor Rahel Sollmann, a quantitative ecologist in the UC Davis Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, will focus her research on the King Fire, which burned more than 97,000 acres in El Dorado County in 2014.
Joining her on the project are UC Berkeley Associate Professor Justin Brashares and UC Santa Barbara Assistant Professor Hillary Young, as well as other researchers at UC Davis and the U.S. Forest Service.
They hope to discover how massive wildfires disrupt the forest ecosystem and food web and pollination networks.
“Forests are really at the heart of California economy, culture and its ecological heritage,” says Ms. Sollmann. “The Forest Service has identified these large fires as the major threat to the integrity of California forests. We really hope to understand how large fires change forest pollination and food networks.”
Comments on this story
Brent Gill 12/5/16 4:38 AM
Knowing how the fragile infrastructure is affected by ANY fires is important. But what is more important is to figure out how to prevent the fires in the first place. Not entirely prevent though. Fire is a tool, and an important one to prevent the Megafires. There are too many trees in too few acres, as a result of preventing logging, and not utilizing the tool of fire. Mother Nature knows this, and She is taking action.