Sunday, May 13, 2012

Calabrian Fire Ecology--Update

x
Remember our fires last summer? After it was all over, in our September 10 post, Calabrian Fire Ecology, we promised to get back to you about how the land comes back after these fires.  Do the trees die? If so, which ones? Does the fire help or hurt? Look for our comments after each pair of pictures, one taken in September, 2011 and one just taken in May, 2012. 
x
We hope you enjoy our dedication to this task. Our new car paid the price. Guido was backing up to take one of the pics along the highway, forgot about the curve in the wall, and we now have a nastly scrape on the rear fender. Eh....! Okay, back to the results!
x
The photo pair above were taken from the window of our study (a safer photo point although I suppose we could have fallen out the window...)

Light from the flames of this fire woke us up last summer. You can see that the land certainly greened up quickly and that the trees were thinned--in clumps--adding to the mosiac of sizes and ages. The rest of the shots were taken from closer up, so you can see how it looks in more detail:   
x
 x
The oak tree on the left (on the bank) that was burnt up into the crown has leafed out fine, while the tree (the most intense red in the first pic) in the middle of the foreground is now dead. Are we surprised? Not at all, the oak trees (the bigger the better) win out in this struggle for survival. Pity the small and the non-oak if you like, but this is why there are huge oak trees in the world. Fire-prone in this area means it's dry and when a fire starts, it goes. They are mostly human caused fires. Not much in the way of summer lightning storms as seen in the American West. Like all burns, these have pioneer species growing now--herbaceous weeds and thistle which will be crowded out by permanent shrubs in a couple years. They won't be crowded out in a fire-prone landscape. You see the same result in the picture after picture:
x

 x
The next photo duo is a little bit different. We have several Eucalyptus tree farms in the area.  You can see that those on the right were "crowned out" in the fire while those on the left of the road retained green crowns. The crowned out trees are now sprouting along the trunk: 
x

4 comments:

  1. Mwaa~ Very interesting! Nice to see how everything is turning green and alive again!
    Sorry for your car though.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Michelle,
    ahh, the car, we knew it would happen here sooner or later. Too many walls, wierd roads, wierd drivers (including us), etc.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is really interesting. I think I recognize a couple of those locations. Everything looks very lush right now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Laura,

    We've had a cool spring, not particularly damp, but not clear and sunny so we should stay very green well into summer.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...