Fire Ecology and Fire Regimes in Boreal Ecosystems. Oct 19, 2010. Fire ecology of boreal region. Black spruce ( Picea mariana ) serotinous cones, highly flamable Early successional White spruce ( Picea glauca ) Non serotinous cones Late successional
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Some years very large wildfires
Continuous layer of fuels:
grasses, moss, shrubs, black spruce
(~ lodgepole pine *)
Lightning, long days (midnight sun)
high intensity stand-replacing crown fires +
ground fires (smoldering in deep organic layers)
Natural fire cycles: ~50-200 years
After human use/protection:
<100 years in remote regions to >500 in heavily protected
Fire is the dominant disturbance in boreal forests
permafrost to increase
(vegetation = insulation)
(1923) – new emphasis
on fire suppression and control
tree line expansion into tundra
Deciduous vs. coniferous
1. What factors determine whether a region (or ecosystem) is a “sink” or “source,” and why?
2. What does it mean to refer to the boreal region as a “carbon sink” or a “carbon source”?
Balance between CO2 sequestration and emissions = complex!
CO2, Climate, fire