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Type: Fact Sheet / Brief / Bulletin
Author(s): April M. Melvin; Michelle C. Mack; Randi R. Jandt
Publication Date: November 2017

Clearing and forest thinning are increasingly seen as strategies to protect private property and infrastructure from boreal wildfires. Property sited in natural spruce-dominated forests are often considered high risk due to the intensity of fires in this fuel type when it burns. Although vegetation treatments can reduce fire potential, they may have unintended ecological effects, but there has been little published on possible impacts—especially for Alaska. So the recent publication (Melvin, et al. 2017) of a study on sites managed as fuel treatments by an interdisciplinary team of researchers is an important addition to regional management resources. In fact, it probably represents the FIRST paper specifically on how fuel-reduction affects carbon and nutrient pools, permafrost thaw, and successional trajectories. However, the authors also summarize some published impacts from related management actions like boreal logging and bulldozed firelines.

Online Links
Link to this document (753 KB; pdf)
Citation: Melvin, April M.; Mack, Michelle C.; Jandt, Randi R. 2017. Ecological Impacts of Alaskan Forest Fuel Treatments. AFSC Research Brief 2017-3. Fairbanks, AK: Alaska Fire Science Consortium. 2 p.

Cataloging Information

  • boreal forest
  • C - carbon
  • carbon pool
  • carbon storage
  • climate change
  • fuel treatment
  • nutrient dynamics
  • permafrost
  • plant composition
  • shearblading
  • thawing
  • thinning
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 25288