Canadian Forest Service Publications

Interactions within the climate-vegetation-fire nexus may transform 21st century boreal forests in northwestern Canada. 2023. Gaboriau, D.M.; Chaste, E.; Asselin, H.; Ali, A.A.; Bergeron, Y.; Girardin, M.P.; Hély, C. iScience volume 26 page 1-17.

Year: 2023

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 41056

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.106807

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Mark record


Dry and warm conditions have exacerbated the occurrence of large and severe wildfires over the past decade in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NT). Although temperatures are expected to increase during the 21st century, we lack understanding of how the climate-vegetation-fire nexus might respond. We used a dynamic global vegetation model to project annual burn rates, as well as tree species composition and biomass in the NT during the 21st century using the IPCC’s climate scenarios. Burn rates will decrease in most of the NT by the mid-21st century, concomitant with biomass loss of fire-prone evergreen needleleaf tree species, and biomass increase of broadleaf tree species. The southeastern NT is projected to experience enhanced fire activity by the late 21st century according to scenario RCP4.5, supported by a higher production of flammable evergreen needleleaf biomass. The results underlie the potential for major impacts of climate change on the NT’s terrestrial ecosystems.