Canadian Forest Service Publications

Stand Age Influence on Potential Wildfire Ignition and Spread in the Boreal Forest of Northeastern Canada. 2018. Erni, S.; Arseneault, D.; Parisien, M.-A. Ecosystems

Year: 2018

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39096

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1007/s10021-018-0235-3

† This site may require a fee

Mark record

Plain Language Summary

Although it has long been assumed that wildfire occurrence is independent of stand age in the North American boreal forest, recent studies indicate that young forests may influence burn rates by limiting the ignition and spread of fires for several years. Wildfires not only structure the stand-age mosaic of boreal landscapes, but also alter the likelihood and behavior of subsequent fires. Using a fire simulation model, we evaluated the effect of stand age on the magnitude and spatial patterns of burn probability (BP) in the boreal forest of northeastern Canada. Specifically, we assessed the stand age effect on the two processes driving fire likelihood, ignition and spread, by simulating tens of thousands of fires under three fire regime scenarios that vary in terms of mean fire size and number of burned patches. Our results help to untangle the role of factors contributing to stand age resistance on wildfires and offer new insights for improving the spatial mapping of fire likelihood.