Canadian Forest Service Publications

Challenges in defining the disturbance regimes of northern British Columbia. 2005. Burton, P.J.; Taylor, S.W.; Thandi, G. BC Journal of Ecosystems and Management 6(2): 119-123.

Year: 2005

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28139

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


The British Columbia Natural Disturbance Database is analyzed for patters of wildfires and insect outbreaks in northern British Columbia during the period from 1961 to 2000. In terms of annual area affected by these disturbances, forests are generally more likely to experience insect outbreaks than wildfires, but with distinctive differences among ecological zones. Multivariate analysis of 21 northern ecoregions reveals clustering along a gradient of maritime to continental influences, resulting in decreasing importance (from west to northeast) of western balsam bark beetle and increasing importance of eastern spruce budworm and fire. Existing data provide an incomplete picture of the disturbance ecology in most parts of the province, and the characterization of a suite of infrequent events is constrained by the size of sampling windows in space and time. Progress in being made in characterizing the individual and joint probabilities of disturbance by various agents at a variety of scales, which should improve the ability of policy makers and managers to manage risk.