Vegetation development following fire in Picea mariana (black spruce)-Pleurozium forests of south-eastern Labrador, Canada
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): D. R. Foster
Publication Year: 1985

Cataloging Information

  • Abies balsamea
  • boreal forests
  • bryophytes
  • burning intervals
  • Canada
  • charcoal
  • coastal forests
  • coniferous forests
  • conifers
  • cover
  • Epilobium
  • Epilobium angustifolium
  • fire frequency
  • fire scar analysis
  • fire sensitive plants
  • Gaultheria
  • Gaultheria hispidula
  • ground cover
  • humus
  • Labrador
  • lichens
  • mineral soils
  • mosaic
  • mosses
  • organic soils
  • overstory
  • paleoecology
  • Picea
  • Picea mariana
  • plant growth
  • Pleurozium schreberi
  • post fire recovery
  • regeneration
  • seeds
  • senescence
  • serotiny
  • species diversity (plants)
  • sphagnum
  • stand characteristics
  • succession
  • understory vegetation
  • vegetation surveys
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 28323
Tall Timbers Record Number: 2182
TTRS Location Status: 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.


(1) The pattern of post-fire vegetation development in Picea mariana (black spruce)-Pleurozium forests in south-eastern Labrador, Canada, is evaluated using palaeoecological methods and vegetation analysis of extant stands.(2) Macrofossil analysis of mor humus profiles in mature stands yields the following stratigraphy: mineral soil-charcoal-Polytrichum juniperinem-Cladonia lichens-Pleurozium schreberi-feather mosses and Sphagnum girgensohnii. The stratigraphic record of the post-fire dynamics of the vegetation at individual sites strengthens the conclusion obtained from the detailed analysis of a chronosequence of stands.(3) The pattern of vegetation development, especially of the arboreal species, is significantly different from that reported for the central and western boreal forest in North America. This difference is attributed to the much longer fire cycle in the maritime region of Labrador which allows the accumulation of a thick organic soil layer that is incompletely removed by fire.(4) Arboreal regeneration is slow due to the limited availability of mineral soil seedbeds. The progressive establishment of black spruce and balsam fir over a 70-100 year period results in an uneven age structure and provides a long period when lichen woodlands cover the landscape.(5) The majority of the vascular understorey species follow the pattern of initial floristics and resprout rapidly following fire. Coptis groenlandicum, Gaultheria hispidula, and Empetrum nigrum decrease following fire whereas only Epilobium angustifolium shows a marked increase.(6) The criptogam ground cover undergoes a physiognomic and compositional succession that represents contrasting substrate requirements and the differential response of the major species to a temporally-varying environment.© Blackwell Science Ltd. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Foster, D. R. 1985. Vegetation development following fire in Picea mariana (black spruce)-Pleurozium forests of south-eastern Labrador, Canada. Journal of Ecology, v. 73, no. 2, p. 517-534.