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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355975

Research Project: Uncertainty of Future Water Availability Due to Climate Change and Impacts on the Long Term Sustainability and Resilience of Agricultural Lands in the Southern Great Plains

Location: Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research

Title: Identifying the impact of 2016-17 Southern Great Plains wildfires and their antecedent conditions on ecological health and recovery

Author
item Robertson, Shelby
item Brown, David
item Steiner, Jean
item Teet, Stephen
item Wang, Jie - University Of Oklahoma
item Wetter, Jeffrey
item Wu, Xiaocui - University Of Oklahoma
item Xiao, Xiangming - University Of Oklahoma

Submitted to: American Meteorological Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2018
Publication Date: 1/7/2019
Citation: Robertson, S.D., Brown, D.P., Steiner, J.L., Teet, S.B., Wang, J., Wetter, J.T., Wu, X., Xiao, X. 2019. Identifying the impact of 2016-17 Southern Great Plains wildfires and their antecedent conditions on ecological health and recovery [abstract]. American Meteorological Society Proceedings. Available at: https://ams.confex.com/ams/2019Annual/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/350191.

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only

Technical Abstract: In recent years, large wildfire complexes have devastated parts of the Southern Great Plains. In particular, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas have experienced multiple wildfire impacts since 2016, resulting in extensive agricultural and economic loss. A comparative case study of the Anderson Creek (2016), Starbuck (2017), and Perryton (2017) wildfire complexes has been performed to analyze 1) meteorological and climatological conditions preceding the fires; 2) land use conditions of fire-affected and surrounding areas; and 3) the ecological recovery of grasslands and rangelands post-fire. When compared with climatological conditions, meteorological conditions such as maximum temperature, minimum relative humidity, maximum wind speed, and the energy release component (ERC) reached extreme values on the days each fire began. The effects of the fires on vegetation health, however, was not long lasting. An analysis of gross primary product (GPPvpm) and land surface water indices (LSWI) showed that burnt grasslands and rangelands typically recovered within three months. Findings from this study will inform future wildfire risks as influenced by climate variability, land use management, and environmental decision-making within the Southern Great Plains region.