Effects of climate change and fire on carbon storage in the North American boreal forests
Document Type: Book Chapter
Author(s): Eric S. Kasischke
Editor(s): Eric S. Kasischke; Brian J. Stocks
Publication Year: 2000

Cataloging Information

  • biomass
  • boreal forests
  • C - carbon
  • Canada
  • carbon cycle
  • carbon storage
  • climate change
  • climatology
  • fire frequency
  • forest management
  • gases
  • global warming
  • organic soils
  • post-fire recovery
  • prairie
  • soil management
  • soils
  • statistical analysis
  • taiga
  • temperature
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 1754
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21867
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
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.


In summary, the sensitivety study presented in this chapter supports the overall theme of this book (i.e., that fires in the boreal forest play a central role in the exchange of carbon between this biome and the atmosphere). Through a series of processes, the continuing rise in atmospheric temperatures projected for this region will act to release much of the carbon stored in the deep organic soils present in this region. Under the worst-case scenario presented in this chapter, the upper organic-soil layers of the North American boreal forest will lose more than 50% of their stored carbon if the projected rises in atmospheric temperature occur. Because much of this carbon took centuries to millennia to accumulate, this represents a net loss of carbon to the atmosphere. In effect, fire represents a positive feedback to the atmosphere because the gases released from fires will serve to increase the rates of flobal warming.

Online Link(s):
Kasischke, Eric S. 2000. Effects of climate change and fire on carbon storage in the North American boreal forests. Pages 440-452 In: Kasischke, Eric S.; Stocks, Brian J. (Ed.). Fire, climate change and carbon cycling in the boreal forest. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.