The Ecological Society of America established a new journal, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, in 2003. Frontiers is intended for a wide audience and includes synthetic articles with particular relevance to environmental issues. “Frontiers Issues to Teach Ecology” is designed to help ecology faculty use selected articles in ecology courses plus do classroom research on their teaching.
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 (7): 351-358.
landscape ecology, Yellowstone National Park, fire ecology, patch, disturbance, succession, regeneration, lodgepole pine
Landscape ecology is a relatively new aspect of ecology, and the first author of this paper, Monica Turner, is one of its strong proponents. This would be a good paper for discussion about what landscape ecology is and why it is interesting. The 1988 Yellowstone Fire made headline news and so the topic would draw in students. By working with the figures in this paper students will come to understand how fires produce a mosaic of plant communities and how different plants respond to fire. The Scientific Teaching section focuses on the misconception that fire is “bad” for the environment.
Authored and edited by Charlene D'Avanzo, School of Natural Sciences, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, 01002