The role of fire in the boreal forest of Canada
Document Type: Book
Author(s): A. J. Kayll
Publication Year: 1968

Cataloging Information

  • Abies balsamea
  • Betula papyrifera
  • bibliographies
  • boreal forests
  • browse
  • Canada
  • coniferous forests
  • disturbance
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • herbaceous vegetation
  • humus
  • Larix laricina
  • lightning caused fires
  • mosses
  • nutrient cycling
  • Picea glauca
  • Picea mariana
  • pine
  • Pinus banksiana
  • Pinus contorta
  • Populus balsamifera
  • Populus tremuloides
  • regeneration
  • shrubs
  • soil nutrients
  • soils
  • succession
  • understory vegetation
  • wildlife
  • wildlife food plants
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 29735
Tall Timbers Record Number: 3693
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: CAN Doc
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.


Through a review of literature, the essential role of fire in the boreal forest as a natural regulatory agent of composition and succession is discussed in terms of plants, soils, and animals. In natural, long-term cycles, the incidence of lightning-started fires on a particular area may have been only once in one to three centuries, but fire nevertheless has always been an agent for destruction and renewal of boreal forest stands. It is suggested that fire's beneficial effects, e.g. nutrient cycling, removal of excessive mor humus, warming of soil surface, depression of permafrost, provision of browse, etc. should be utilized in managing the forest's renewable resources. Research on physical, physiological, and ecological effects of fire will supplement the meagre experience available for effective management of the boreal forest.

Kayll, A. J. 1968. The role of fire in the boreal forest of Canada. Information Report PS-X-7. Chalk River, Ontario, Petawawa Forest Experiment Station.