Recovery of vegetation and fuel load following a 1990 fire in the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska: a survey 1991-1999
Document Type: Unpublished Work
Author(s): M. Joan Foote
Publication Year: 2008

Cataloging Information

  • Betula papyrifera
  • black spruce
  • black spruce forest
  • black spruce-lichen woodland
  • dead and downed wood
  • fuel load
  • Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge
  • paper birch
  • Picea glauca
  • Picea mariana
  • Populus tremuloides
  • quaking aspen
  • recovery
  • white spruce
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 29, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 17420


Recovery of the vegetation following the A-185 Fire, which burned in 1990 in the east central portion of the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, was monitored intermittently on 8 transects (TS) for 10 years beginning in 1991. The study areas (Black Spruce/Lichen Woodland, TS 1 and 2; Closed Mixed Paper Birch - Spruce Forest, TS 3; Open Black Spruce/Mixed Ericaceous Shrub Forest, TS 4; Closed Spruce - Mixed Hardwood Forest, TS 5; and Dwarf Black Spruce Woodland Scrub, TS 6, 7, and 8), like the landscapes in interior Alaska, are in general self-sustaining. Transects 2 and 8 were unburned controls. All burned sites, with the exception of the Black Spruce/Lichen Woodland Type (TS 1), will recover with perhaps a change of minor dominant species, and/or canopy closure status. All sites will pass through one or more intermediate stage types in the process. However, as of 1999, there was no indication that the lichens or peat moss in the Black Spruce Woodland Type (TS 1) will recover. These are major changes that will cause this site to mature into some other Black Spruce Woodland Type. The areas in this study are unique because 1) their land status is secure, 2) they contain permanent vegetation plots that have been revisited several times, and 3) there is a commitment to continue to revisit them on a reoccurring basis. The number of permanent vegetation plots in interior Alaska is limited, especially those with a known burn date and a pre-year 2000 origin. This monitoring work provides information for current management goals. In addition, when these areas re-burn, which they will do, this work will provide valuable baseline information about pre-fire fuels and vegetation composition and post-fire recovery tracks. The on-going work also increases the knowledge base by providing answers to areas of current missing knowledge.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (6.7 MB; pdf)
Foote, Joan. 2008. Recovery of vegetation and fuel load following a 1990 fire in the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska: a survey 1991-1999. Progress Report FY08-01. Fairbanks, AK: Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge. 113 p.