Canadian Forest Service Publications

Fuel accumulation in a high-frequency boreal wildfire regime: from wetland to upland. 2017. Thompson, D.K.; Parisien, M.-A.; Morin, J.; Millard, K.; Larsen, C.P.S.; Simpson, B. Canadian Journal of Forest Research (volume and page numbers not yet assigned. Not final version of record.)

Year: 2017

Available from: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 38304

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2016-0475

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Although it is increasingly accepted that young (e.g., ≤30 years) stands originating from wildfire are considerably less flammable than older stands in the boreal forest of North America, the role of fuel availability and structure in this phenomenon has not been thoroughly investigated. As a regional study in a high-frequency fire regime, detailed wildfire fuel loading and structure was measured in 66 sites including both wetlands and uplands in the Boreal Plains landscape of Wood Buffalo National Park, in northwestern Canada. Overall, a significant increase in total flammable biomass occurred in upland sites after 97 years but this increase was not consistently observed in wetlands, except where there was dense tree cover. Fuel accumulation was highly moderated by canopy fuels, as surface fuels were relatively constant across differing site types and time since fire, averaging 0.4 kg m-2. Significant but gradual canopy fuel accumulation was observed in moist conifer upland forests dominated by mature black spruce (Picea mariana) or white spruce (Picea glauca) over 100 years since fire. Outside of these mature moist conifer uplands, there was no difference in total fuel loading between other upland forest and across the gradient of treed to open wetlands.

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