Fire - climate change hypotheses for the taiga
Document Type: Book Chapter
Author(s): Ross W. Wein; William J. de Groot
Editor(s): Johann Georg Goldammer; Valentin V. Furyaev
Publication Year: 1996

Cataloging Information

  • Alberta
  • Asia
  • boreal
  • boreal forests
  • C - carbon
  • Canada
  • carbon storage
  • China
  • climate change
  • climatology
  • CO2 - carbon dioxide
  • decomposition
  • energy
  • Europe
  • Finland
  • fire management
  • fuel management
  • fuel moisture
  • Manitoba
  • Norway
  • organic matter
  • roots
  • Russia
  • soil organic matter
  • soils
  • Sweden
  • taiga
  • vegetation surveys
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 1936
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21553
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Fire 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.


Residents of Canada and other northern circumpolar countries are concerned with the scenarios of climate change since Global Circulation Models predict that global warming over the next 30-50 years will be most evident in the northern regions (Bolin et at. 1986; Roots 1989; Maxwell 1992). Climates in the north would be supportive of much more southern types of biotic systems (Emanuel et al. 1985).We recognize that fire may be the most important (widespread) driving force in changing the taiga under climatic warming conditions. At the time of burning, CO2 is released to the atmosphere where this greenhouse gas will act as a feedback loop to global warming. In addition, CO2 release continues for one or more decades after the fire because of higher decomposition rates of organic matter, particularly in northern soils. As for climate change stresses on the biota of the ecosystem, it is our hypothesis that these energy and nutrient conservative ecosystems change vary slowly even if the climate changes; however, fire can be a triggering event to remove species that are poorly adapted to the new climate regime. More importantly, fire modifies the physical environment and disrupts the population dynamics to such an extent that there can be strong changes in species abundance and new species may invade the burned area.

Online Link(s):
Wein, Ross W.; de Groot, William J. 1996. Fire - climate change hypotheses for the taiga. Pages 505-512 In: Goldammer, Johann G.; Furyaev, Valentin V. (Ed.). Fire in ecosystems of boreal Eurasia. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.