Depth of underground plant organs and theoretical survival during fire
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Marguerite A. Flinn; Ross W. Wein
Publication Year: 1977

Cataloging Information

  • Abies balsamea
  • Acer saccharum
  • Andromeda glaucophylla
  • Aralia hispida
  • Aster acuminatus
  • Betula alleghaniensis
  • Betula populifolia
  • bogs
  • Canada
  • Chamaedaphne calyculata
  • coniferous forests
  • Coptis trifolia
  • Dennstaedtia punctilobula
  • experimental areas
  • fire adaptations
  • fire intensity
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • hardwood forest
  • humus
  • Kalmia angustifolia
  • Ledum groenlandicum
  • litter
  • Maianthemum canadense
  • Medeola
  • mineral soil
  • mortality
  • Picea rubens
  • pine hardwood forests
  • Pinus strobus
  • pioneer species
  • post-fire recovery
  • Pteridium aquilinum
  • regeneration
  • regeneration capability
  • resprouting
  • Rhododendron canadense
  • soil
  • sprouting
  • succession
  • understory vegetation
  • understory vegetation
  • Uvularia
  • Vaccinium myrtilloides
  • Vaccinium oxycoccos
  • Viburnum cassinoides
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 4024
Tall Timbers Record Number: 3085
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.


For 21 study sites in the Acadia Forest Experiment Station, near Fredericton, New Brunswick, 34 common understory species were studied to determine the depth of underground plant organs capable of growing shoots. Depth of these plant parts tended to be species specific. These depth data, together with a knowledge of the sprouting ability of the underground organs, were used to postulate which species would survive fires of varying intensities. Most species found in the litter layer or in the F and H layer of the forested study sites would be susceptible to fires of low intensity. Rubus canadensis, Kalmia angustifolia, Vaccinium myrtilloides, Pteridium aquilinum, and Viburnum cassinoides would probably survive severe fires because the organs capable of reproduction were found in the mineral soil. In the bog study sites, Vaccinium oxycoccos, Andromeda glaucophylla, Kalmia angustifolia, Chamaedaphne calyculata, Ledum groenlandicum, and Rhododendron canadense would probably survive severe fires because the organs capable of vegetative reproduction were found 25 cm below the surface of the bog.

Online Link(s):
Flinn, M. A.; Wein, Ross W. 1977. Depth of underground plant organs and theoretical survival during fire. Canadian Journal of Botany 55(19):2550-2554.