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Fire Effects Information System (FEIS)

Run by the USDA's Forest Service, a collection of detailed articles on the ecology of various plant species, with a focus on fire ecology.


The Fire Effects Information System, concisely referred to as the FEIS, is a database of fire ecology, fire regimes, and fire studies in the United States, run by the US Forest Service, part of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture.)

The part of the FEIS relevant to our site are the species reviews; the database covers both plants and animals. These reviews, where they exist, are some of the most comprehensive summaries of the literature that exist. Although the articles do focus on a plant's fire ecology, they also contain detailed information about its habitat preferences, regeneration process and life cycle, ecological relationships, and uses and management considerations.

The FEIS contains only a few hundred articles, focusing mostly on trees and other woody plants, but also covering some grasses and herbaceous plants, and a few mosses and cacti. The database tends to focus on the more common, widespread plants that are cornerstones to the ecosystems in which they occur, and also on plants important to humans in forestry.

Although most articles are long, detailed, and comprehensive, a few, especially those for non-woody plants, are a bit sparser and may be less useful than the bulk of the articles.

The articles tend to be well-referenced, often exhaustively so, and can be a good starting point to locate published studies in the primary literature about specific plant species.