Jeffrey Kane

Professor - Fire Ecology & Fuels Management

Jeffrey  Kane
(707) 826-5622
220 Natural Resources Building

The purpose of my research in the Humboldt Wildland Fire Lab and the Humboldt Fire Resilience Institute is to better understand the impacts of fire and other disturbances on wildlands and to provide information that will improve the management, restoration, and conservation of these ecosystems. Additionally, I use my research to actively involve undergraduate students both inside and outside of the classroom. I use a combination of field and laboratory techniques for my research including standard forest and fire measurements, dendroecological (tree rings) approaches, and laboratory burns. While my research has varied widely over the years, my current and future research will primarily focus on the following categories:

  • Fuel moisture dynamics
  • Interactive effects of disturbances (fire, beetles, and drought) on tree mortality
  • Climate change effects on fire and forest dynamics
  • Fuel treatment impacts and effectiveness
  • Understory plant response to fire and fuel treatments
  • Flammability and defense traits in plants
  • Forest restoration and conservation


Ph.D. (2012) Northern Arizona University, Forest Ecology
M.S. (2008) Humboldt State University, Fire Ecology and Fuels Management
B.S. (1998) Plattsburgh State University, Environmental Science

Courses Taught

FOR 223:Introduction to Wildland Fire
FOR 321: Fire Ecology
FOR 323 Wildland Fire Behavior and Use
FOR 422: Wildland Fire Use
FOR 423: Wildland Fuels Management
FWWS 501: Research Methods and Planning

Current Graduate Students

Name Thesis
Heather Rickard
Jackson Carrasco
Kaily Fineran
Joe Nicholas


* = a publication by a graduate student and ** = a publication by an undergraduate studen

Dr. Kane’s publications and citation statistics are also available at Google Scholar.

*Marlin, K.F, D.F. Greene, J.M. Kane, B. Madurapparuma. Accepted. Evaluating immaturity risk in young knobcone pine stands. Ecosphere

Kane, J.M. 2022. Chapter 7: Fire Ecology. In: M.K. Kauffmann, J. Garwood. Natural History of the Klamath Mountains. Backcountry Press, Eureka, CA

Varner, J.M., T.M. Shearman, J.M. Kane, E.M. Banwell, E.S. Jules, M.C. Stambaugh. 2022. Use of a phylogenetic approach to understand flammability and bark thickness in the genus Pinus. Scientific Reports 12: 7384. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-11451-x

*Barnes, A., J.M. Kane, D.A. McKenzie, B. Koerner. 2022. Invasion of a non-native forb reduces flammability in a fire-dependent ecosystem. Ecosphere e3995. DOI:10.1002/ecs2.3995

Kane, J.M., M.R. Gallagher, J.M. Varner, N. Skowronski. 2022. Evidence of local adaptation in litter flammability of a widespread fire-adaptive pine. Journal of Ecology DOI:10.1111/1365-2745.13857

*Bonner, S., C.M. Hoffman, J.M. Kane, J.M. Varner, J.K. Hiers, J. O’Brien, *H.D. Rickard, W. Tinkham, R. Linn, N. Skowronski, R. Parsons, C. Sieg. 2021. Invigorating prescribed fire science through improved reporting practicesFrontiers in Forests and Global Change 4:750699 DOI: 10.3389/ffgc.2021.750699

Varner, J.M., J.M. Kane, J.K. Kreye, T.M. Shearman. 2021. Litter flammability of 50 southeastern North American tree species: Evidence for mesophication gradients across multiple ecosystems. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 4:727042. DOI:10.3389/ffgc.2021.727042

Kane, J.M. 2021. Stand conditions alter seasonal microclimate and dead fuel moisture in a northwestern California oak woodland. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 308-309:108602. DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108602

*Beckmann, J., R. Sherriff, L. Kerhoulas, J.M. Kane. 2021. Douglas-fir encroachment reduces drought resistance in Oregon white oak of northern California. Forest Ecology and Management 498: 119543. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119543

Kane, J.M., J.K. Kreye, **R. Barajas-Ramirez, J.M. Varner. 2021. Litter trait driven dampening of flammability following deciduous forest community shifts in eastern North America. Forest Ecology and Management 489:119100 DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119100

*Slack, A.W., J.M. Kane, E.E. Knapp. 2021. Large sugar pine mortality models informed by growth, defense, and competition in a fire-excluded forest of the central Sierra Nevada. Trees: Structure and Function 35: 1053-1063. DOI: 10.1007/s00468-021-02098-8

*Martorano, C., J.M. Kane, E.A. Engber, J. Gibson. 2021. Long-term fuel and understory vegetation response to fuel treatments in oak and chaparral stands of northern California. Applied Vegetation Science 24: e12551 DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12551

Knapp, E.E., *A.A. Bernal, J.M. Kane, M. North, C. Fettig. 2021. Variable thinning and prescribed fire influence tree mortality and growth during and after a severe drought. Forest Ecology and Management 479:118595. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.11859

Batllori, E. et al. (including J.M. Kane) 2020. A global assessment of forest replacement patterns following drought-induced mortality events. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117:29720-29729. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2002314117

Kane, J.M., J.M. Varner, M.C. Stambaugh, M.R. Saunders. 2020. Reconsidering the fire ecology of the iconic American chestnut. Ecosphere 10: e03267. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.3267 

Hood, S.M., C.C. Reed, J.M. Kane. 2020. Axial resin duct quantification in tree rings: a functional defense trait. MethodsX7:101035. DOI: 10.1016/j.mex.2020.101035

Stevens, J.T., M. Kling, D. Schwilk, J.M. Varner, J.M. Kane. 2020. Biogeography of forest fire regimes in western US conifer forests: a trait-based approach. Global Ecology and Biogeography 29: 944-955. DOI:

Batllori, E. et al.Accepted w/major revisions.A global assessment of forest replacement patterns following drought-induced mortality events. Nature Climate Change.

Kreye, J.K., J.M. Kane, J.M. Varner, J.K. Hiers. 2020. Radiant heating increases flammability of pine and oak litter via altered moisture dynamics. Fire Ecology 16: 8. DOI: 10.1186/s42408-02-0067-3

DeSoto, L.M. Cailleret, F. Sterck, S. Jansen, K. Kramer, E.M.R. Robert, T. Aakala, M. Amoroso, C. Bigler, J.J. Camarero, K. Cufar, G. Gea-Izquierdo, S. Gillner, L.J. Haavik, A. Heres, J.M. Kane, V.I. Kharuk, T. Kitzberger, T. Klein, T. Levanic, J.C. Linares, H. Makinen, W. Oberhuber, A. Papadopoulos, B. Rohner, G. Sangüesa-Barreda, J.M. Smith, D. Stojanovic, M. Suarez, R. Villalba, J. Martinez-Vilalta. 2020. Low growth resilience to drought is related to future mortality risk in treesNature Communications 11: 545. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-14300-5

Kattge, J., G. Bonisch, S. Diaz, S. Lavorel, I.C. Prentice, P. Leadley, S. Tautenhahn, G. Werner, G. Wirth, and others (including J.M. Kane). 2020. TRY plant trait database - enhanced coverage and open accessGlobal Change Biology 26: 119-188. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14904

 *McNamera, B., D.F. Greene, J.M. Kane. 2019. Strong dispersal limitation in post-fire regeneration of Baker cypress, a rare serotinous conifer. American Journal of Botany 106:1-9. DOI: 10.1002/ajb2.1393

*McNamera, B., J.M. Kane, D.F. Greene. 2019. Fuel succession in a rare California closed cone conifer. Fire Ecology 15(1):39. DOI:10.1186/s42408-019-0059-3

Kane, J.M., E.A. Engber, J. McClelland. 2019. Effectiveness and impacts of girdling treatments in a conifer-encroached Oregon white oak woodland. Forest Ecology and Management 447:77-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.05.059

Cailleret, M., V. Dakos, S. Jansen, E. Robert, T. Aakala, M. Amoroso, J.A. Antos, C. Bigler, H. Bugmann, M. Caccianiga, J.J. Camarero, P. Cherubini, M. R. Coyea, K. Čufar, A. Das, H. Davi, G. Gea-Izquierdo, S. Gillner, L. Haavik, H. Hartmann, A.-M. Hereş, K.R. Hultine, P. Janda, J.M. Kane, V.I. Kharuk, T. Kitsberger, T. Klein, T. Levanic, J. C. Linares, F. Lombardi, H. Mäkinen, I. Mészáros, J.M. Metsaranta, W. Oberhuber, A. Papadopoulos, A.M. Petritan. B. Rohner, G. Sangüesa-Barreda, D. Sarris, J.M. Smith, A.B. Stan, F. Sterck, D.B. Stojanović, M.L. Suarez, M. Svoboda, V. Trotsiuk, R. Villalba, A.R. Westwood, P.H. Wyckoff, J. Martinex-Vilalta.2019.Early-warning signals of individual tree mortality based on annual radial growth. Frontiers in Plant Science 9:1964.DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01964

Kane, J.M., J.M. Varner, M.R. Saunders 2019. Resurrecting the lost flames of American chestnut. Ecosystems. 22:995-1006. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-018-0318-1

Collins, B., J. Miller, J.M. Kane, D. Fry, A.E. Thode. 2018Chapter 6: Characterizing Fire Regimes. In:J. W. van Wagtendonk, N. G. Sugihara, S. L. Stephens, A. E. Thode, K. E. Shaffer, and J. Fites-Kaufman. Fire in California's Ecosystems: Second Edition, Revised. University of California Press, Berkeley, California, USA. Pp. 71-86.

**DiMario, A.A., J.M. Kane, E.S. Jules. 2018.Characterizing forest floor fuels surrounding large sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) in the Klamath Mountains, California. Northwest Science 92: 181-190.

*Vernon, M., R. Sherriff, P. van Mantgem, J. Kane. 2018Do fuel treatments promote resistance to multi-year drought in a mixed-conifer forest of northern California. Forest Ecology and Management 422: 190-198.  DOI:10.1016/j.foreco.2018.03.043

Kreye, J.K., J.M. Varner, G. Hamby, J.M. Kane. 2018. Mesophytic litter dampens flammability in pyrophytic oak-hickory woodlands. Ecosphere 9: e02078. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2078

Stephens, S.L., J.M. Kane, J.D. Stuart. 2018. Chapter 10: North Coast Bioregion. In:J. W. van Wagtendonk, N. G. Sugihara, S. L. Stephens, A. E. Thode, K. E. Shaffer, and J. Fites-Kaufman. Fire in California's Ecosystems: Second Edition, Revised. University of California Press, Berkeley, California, USA. Pp. 149-170.

*Grabinski, Z.S., R.L. Sherriff, J.M. Kane. 2017. Controls of reburn severity vary with fire interval in the Klamath Mountains, California, USA. Ecosphere 8: e02012. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2012

Kane, J.M., J.M. Varner, M.R. Metz, P.J. van Mantgem. 2017. Characterizing interactions between fire and other disturbances and the impacts on tree mortality in western U.S. forests. Forest Ecology and Management 405: 188-199. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2017.09.037

Adams, H.D., M. J.B. Zeppel, W.R.L. Anderegg, H. Hartmann, S.M. Landhäusser, D.T. Tissue, T.E. Huxman, P.J. Hudson, T.E. Franz, C.D. Allen, L.D.L. Anderegg, G.A. Barron-Gafford, D.J. Beerling, D.D. Breshears, T.J. Brodribb, H. Bugmann, R.C. Cobb, A.D. Collins, L.T. Dickman, H. Duan, B.E. Ewers, L. Galiano, D.A. Galvez, N. Garcia-Forner, M.L. Gaylord, M.J. Germino, A. Gessler, U.G. Hacke, R. Hakamada, A. Hector, M.W. Jenkins, J.M. Kane, T.E. Kolb, D.J. Law, J.D. Lewis, J.M. Limousin, A.K. Macalady, J. Martínez-Vilalta, M. Mencuccini, P. J. Mitchell, J.D. Muss, M.J. O'Brien, A.P. O'Grady, R.E. Pangle, E.A. Pinkard, F.I. Piper, JDiMario A. Plaut, W.T. Pockman, J. Quirk, K. Reinhardt, F. Ripullone, A. Sala, S. Sevanto, J.S. Sperry, R. Vargas, M. Vennetier, D.A. Way, C. Xu, E.A. Yepez, N.G. McDowell. (In Press) A multi-species synthesis of physiological mechanisms in drought-induced tree mortality. Nature Ecology & Evolution.

*Slack, A.W., J.M. Kane, E.E. Knapp, R.L. Sherriff. 2017. Contrasting impacts of climate and competition on large sugar pine growth and defense in a fire-excluded, mixed-conifer forest of the central Sierra NevadaForests 8: 244. DOI: 10.3390/f8070244

Kane, J.M., P.J. van Mantgem, L.B. Lalemand, M. Keifer. 2017. Higher sensitivity and lower specificity in post-fire mortality model validation of eighteen western U.S. tree species. International Journal of Wildland Fire 26:444-445. DOI: 10.1071/WF16081

Cailleret, M., S. Hansen, E. M. R. Robert, L. Desoto, T. Aakala, J. A. Antos, B. Beikircher, C. Bigler, H. Bugmann, M. Caccianiga, V. Čada, J.J. Camarero, P. Cherubini, H. Cochard, M. R. Coyea, K. Čufar, A. Das, H. Davi, S. Delzon, M. Dorman, G. Gea-Izquierdo, S. Gillner, L. Haavik, H. Hartmann, A.-M. Hereş, K.R. Hultine, P. Janda, J.M. Kane, V. I. Kharuk, T. Kitsberger, T. Klein, K. Kramer, F. Lens, T. Levanic, J. Carlos Linares Calderon, F. Lloret, R. Lobo-Do-Vale, F. Lombardi, R. López Rodríguez, H. Mäkinen, S. Mayr, I. Mészáros, J. M. Metsaranta, F. Minunno, W. Oberhuber, A. Papadopoulos, M. Peltoniemi, A. M. Petritan. B. Rohner, G. Sangüesa-Barreda, D. Sarris, J.M. Smith, A. B. Stan, F. Sterck, D. B. Stojanović, M. L. Suarez, M. Svoboda, R. Tognetti, J. M. Torres-Ruiz, V. Trotsiuk, R. Villalba, F. Vodde, A. R. Westwood, P. H. Wyckoff, N. Zafirov, J. Martinex-Vilalta. 2017. A synthesis of radial growth patterns preceding tree mortality. Global Change Biology 23:1675-1690. DOI:10.1111/gcb.13535

van Mantgem, P.J., L.B. Lalemand, M. Keifer, J.M. Kane. 2016. Duration of fuels reduction following prescribed fire in coniferous forests of U.S. national parks in California and the Colorado plateau. Forest Ecology and Management 379:265-272. DOI:10.1016/j.foreco.201607028

Kreye, J.K., J.M. Varner, J.M. Kane, E.E. Knapp, W.P. Reed. 2016. The impact of fuelbed aging on laboratory fire behaviour in masticated woody fuels. International Journal of Wildland Fire DOI: 10.1071/WF15214

Livingston, A.C., J.M. Varner, E.S. Jules, J.M. Kane, L.A. Arguello. 2016. Prescribed fire and conifer removal promote positive understory vegetation responses in Quercus garryana woodlands. Journal of Applied Ecology DOI: 10.1111/1365-2554.12703

Varner, J.M., J.M. Kane, J.K. Hiers, J.K. Kreye, J.W. Veldman. 2016. Suites of fire-adapted traits in the southeastern USA oaks: multiple strategies for persistence in fire-prone environments. Fire Ecology 12(2): 48-64. DOI:10.4996/fireecology.1202048

Slack, A.W., N.E. Zeibig-Kichas, J.M. Kane, J.M. Varner. 2016. Contingent resistance in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) growth and defense 10 years following smoldering fires. Forest Ecology and Management 364:130-138. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2016.01.014

Varner, J.M., J.M. Kane, J.K. Kreye, E. Engber. 2015. The flammability of forest and woodland litter: A synthesis. Current Forestry Reports 1:91-99. DOI: 10.1007/s40725-015-0012-x

Ferrenberg, S., J.M. Kane, J.M. Langenhan. 2015. To grow or defend? Pine seedlings grow less but induce more anatomical defenses when key resources are limited. Tree Physiology 35: 107-111. DOI: 10.1093/treephys/tpv015

Kane, J.M., L.F. Dugi, T.E. Kolb. 2015. Establishment and growth of piñon pine regeneration vary by nurse type along a soil substrate age gradient in northern Arizona. Journal of Arid Environments 115: 113-119. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2015.01.011.

Kane, J.M., T.E. Kolb. 2014. Short- and long-term growth characteristics associated with tree mortality in southwestern mixed-conifer forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 44: 1227-1235. DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2014-0186

Kane, J.M., T.E. Kolb, J.D. McMillin. 2014. Stand-scale tree mortality factors differ by site and species following drought in southwestern mixed conifer forests. Forest Ecology and Management 330: 171-182. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2014.06.042

Varner, J.M., J.M. Kane, E.M. Banwell, and J.K. Kreye. 2014. Flammability of litter from southeastern trees: A preliminary assessment. In: Haywood, J.D. (ed.) Proceedings of the 17th Southern Silvicultural Research Conference. USDA Forest Service, Southern Res. Sta., Asheville, NC.

Ferrenberg, S, J.M. Kane, J.B. Mitton. 2014. Resin duct counts assess tree-resistance to bark beetles across lodgepole (Pinus contorta) and limber (Pinus flexilis) pine. Oecologia. 174:1283-1292. DOI:10.1007/s00442-013-2841-2

Anderegg, W.R.L., J.M. Kane, L.D.L. Anderegg. 2013. Consequences of widespread tree mortality triggered by drought and temperature stress. Nature Climate Change 3: 30-36. DOI:10.1038/NCLIMATE1635

Looney, C.E., B.W. Sullivan, T.E. Kolb, J.M. Kane. S.C. Hart. 2012 Effects of water addition on pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) water relations, growth, and mortality across a three million year old soil age gradient in northern Arizona, USA. Plant and Soil. 357: 89-102. DOI:10.1007/S11104-012-1150-6.

Kerhoulas, L.P., J.M. Kane. 2012 Sensitivity of ring growth and carbon allocation to climatic variation vary within ponderosa pine trees. Tree Physiology. 32: 14-23. DOI:10.1093/treephys/tpr112

Kane, J.M., K.A. Meinhardt, T. Chang, B.L. Cardall, R. Michalet, and T.G. Whitham. 2011. Drought-induced mortality of a foundation species (Juniperus monosperma) promotes positive afterlife effects in understory vegetation. Plant Ecology. 212: 733-741. DOI 10.1007/s11258-010-9859-x

Kane, J.M., T.E. Kolb. 2010. Importance of resin ducts in reducing ponderosa pine mortality from bark beetle attack. Oecologia 164: 601-609. DOI:10.1007/s00442-010-1683-4

Kane, J.M., J.M. Varner, E.E. Knapp, and R.F. Powers. 2010. Initial vegetation response to mechanical mastication treatments in a northern Sierra Nevada ponderosa pine forest. Applied Vegetation Science. 13: 207-220. DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-109X.2009.01062.x

Kane, J.M., J.M. Varner, and E.E. Knapp. 2009. Fuel loading in mechanically masticated fuelbeds in northern California and southwestern Oregon. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 18: 686-697. DOI:10.1071/WF08072

Kane, J.M., J.M. Varner, and J.K. Heirs. 2008. The burning characteristics in southeastern oaks: Discriminating fire facilitators from fire impeders. Forest Ecology and Management 258: 2039-2045. DOI:10.1016/j.foreco.2008.07.039

Knapp, E.E., D.W. Schwilk, J.M. Kane and J.E. Keeley. 2007. Role of burning season on initial understory vegetation response to prescribed burning in a mixed conifer forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 37: 11-22. DOI:10.1139/X06-200