Canadian Forest Service Publications

Spring fires in a semi-mature trembling aspen stand in central Alberta. 1991. Quintilio, D.; Alexander, M.E.; Ponto, R.L. Forestry Canada, Northwest Region, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-323. 30 p.

Year: 1991

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 12039

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Mark record


In a May 1972 study in central Alberta, thirteen 0.15-ha plots of semimature trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) were burned experimentally under various conditions. The objective of the study was to provide new information on fire behavior and impact, with particular regard to aspen ecosystems. Fire data were documented for all plots, particularly head fire rates of spread and frontal fire intensities. The following August an assessment was made of the impact of burning on aspen overstory mortality and understory vegetation response: aspen suckering was minor after burning, but some species resprouted prolifically. In May 1978 two of the plots were jointly reburned, and, among other data, a 10-fold increase in fire intensity was documented, due largely to aspen mortality in 1972 and the subsequent increase in fuel load. The August survey that followed assessed the effects of the reburning, notably the virtual elimination of aspen after the combined fire treatments.