Fire management impacts on boreal forest processes and health
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): Douglas J. McRae; Timothy J. Lynham
Editor(s): Susan G. Conard
Publication Year: 2000

Cataloging Information

  • Abies balsamea
  • artificial regeneration
  • Betula papyrifera
  • boreal forest
  • Canada
  • Choristoneura fumiferana
  • coniferous forests
  • Conophthorus coniperda
  • Cronartium ribicola
  • crown fires
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire cycle
  • fire dependent species
  • fire exclusion
  • fire frequency
  • fire injuries (plants)
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire size
  • fire suppression effects
  • fire-dependent forest
  • forest health
  • forest management
  • fuel accumulation
  • insects
  • light
  • Ontario
  • overstory
  • Pinus resinosa
  • Pinus strobus
  • pioneer species
  • Pissodes strobi
  • plant diseases
  • plant growth
  • Populus tremuloides
  • presettlement fires
  • Quebec
  • regeneration
  • seedlings
  • soil
  • suppression
  • surface fires
  • tree regeneration
  • wildfires
  • wildlife
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 17018
Tall Timbers Record Number: 20992
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.88:NC-209
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The boreal forest is a fire-dependent ecosystem that has relied on the periodic occurrence of wildfires for maintaining important pioneer plant species. Historically fire has been an important disturbance agent, but modem fire suppression techniques have resulted in a reduction in the number and size of wildfires. Because fire cycles have increased, managers cannot depend on wildfires for initiating and maintaining many forest processes today. Without a renewal of the historical fire cycle, serious changes will result in the forest landscape since life expectancy of individual fire-dependent tree species is much shorter than the current fire cycle. This change will also affect other aspects of the forest, Such as wildlife and insect populations. Managers need to understand the consequences of fire exclusion to the overall health of the boreal ecosystem and the possible means of restoring fire as an ecosystem process.

Online Link(s):
McRae, Douglas J.; Lynham, Tmothy J. 2000. Fire management impacts on boreal forest processes and health. Pages 365-372. In: Conard, Susan G. (editor). Disturbance in boreal forest ecosystems: human impacts and natural processes. Proceedings of the International Boreal Forest Research Association 1997 annual meeting; 1997 August 4-7; Duluth, Minnesota. General Technical Report NC-GTR-209. St. Paul, MN: USDA Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station.