Forest-dwelling vertebrate faunas and natural fire regimes in British Columbia: patterns and implications for conservation
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Fred L. Bunnell
Publication Year: 1995

Cataloging Information

  • Abies lasiocarpa
  • amphibians
  • animal species diversity
  • Betula
  • biogeochemical cycles
  • boreal forests
  • British Columbia
  • Canada
  • cavity nesting birds
  • clearcutting
  • climatology
  • coastal vegetation
  • coniferous forests
  • conservation
  • Cupressaceae
  • distribution
  • disturbance
  • disturbance pattern
  • fauna
  • fire
  • fire adaptations
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire regime
  • fire scar analysis
  • fire size
  • forest management
  • forest types
  • fragmentation
  • habitat
  • habits and behavior
  • insects
  • landscape ecology
  • litter
  • logging
  • montane forests
  • mosaic
  • native species
  • nongame birds
  • old growth forest
  • openings
  • partial cutting
  • Picea engelmannii
  • pine forests
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • population ecology
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • reproduction
  • Salix
  • small mammals
  • subalpine forests
  • succession
  • Tsuga heterophylla
  • Tsuga mertensiana
  • wildlife
  • wildlife habitat management
  • windthrow
  • wood
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 3632
Tall Timbers Record Number: 10016
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-C
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.


Structure of native vertebrate faunas within 12 different forest types were related to features of the natural fire regime. Relations between faunal structure and fire regime followed patterns expected if faunas were adapted to fire regimes. Proportions of species breeding early in succession tended to increase with increasing fire size or burn rate (ha/year; p = 0.03); those breeding late in succession tended to decrease (p = 0.04). As fire size increased, proportions of species breeding in cavities decreased (p< 0.01). Proportions of species using downed wood to breed increased as the interval between fires increased and downed wood accumulated (p< 0.01). Forestry practices to maintain biodiversity should mimic natural disturbance patterns, which differ across forest types. Implications for management to maintain vertebrate diversity are summarized in terms of the silvicultural system employed, the size of patches logged, the rate of timber removal, and the appropriate degree of connectivity among unlogged patches.

Online Link(s):
Bunnell, Fred L. 1995. Forest-dwelling vertebrate faunas and natural fire regimes in British Columbia: patterns and implications for conservation. Conservation Biology 9(3):636-644.