Fire history and grassland vegetation: three pollen diagrams from southern British Columbia
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): K. B. Cawker
Publication Year: 1983

Cataloging Information

  • Agropyron spicatum
  • Artemisia frigida
  • Artemisia tridentata
  • Betula glandulosa
  • British Columbia
  • Canada
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire frequency
  • fire regimes
  • fire suppression
  • fossils
  • grasslands
  • histories
  • invasive species
  • land management
  • livestock
  • Picea
  • Pinus
  • pollen
  • post fire recovery
  • presettlement vegetation
  • Pseudotsuga
  • shrubs
  • wildfires
  • woody plants
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 37343
Tall Timbers Record Number: 11799
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File-DDW
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.


Recent vegetation change in the grasslands of southern British Columbia is examined using pollen analysis, and the results are compared with documentary records. The increasing dominance of the grasslands after 1890 by Artemisia tridentata and other woody shrubs has often been attributed to overgrazing by domestic livestock, but pollen data indicate that shrub populations were substantial in presettlement times, and that the recent 'invasion' represents a recovery from anomalously low population levels during the middle 19th century. These low Artemisia populations were probably due to a high frequency of fire in the early settlement period, and the subsequent recovery is probably related to fire suppression. Fire appears to have been an important element in the ecology of these grasslands over a long period, and it may have a place in modern management schemes.©NRC Canada

Online Link(s):
Cawker, K. B. 1983. Fire history and grassland vegetation: three pollen diagrams from southern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Botany, v. 61, p. 1126-1139.