Document


Title

Past, current, and future fire frequencies in Quebec's commercial forests: implications for the cumulative effects of harvesting and fire on age-class structure and natural disturbance-based management
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Yves Bergeron; Dominic Cyr; C. Ronnie Drever; Michael D. Flannigan; Sylvie Gauthier; Daniel D. Kneeshaw; Eve Lauzon; Alain Leduc; Héloïse Le Goff; Daniel Lesieur; Kimberley A. Logan
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • age classes
  • Canada
  • carbon dioxide
  • coniferous forests
  • distribution
  • disturbance
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire suppression
  • forest management
  • logging
  • old growth forests
  • Quebec
  • species diversity (plants)
  • statistical analysis
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 6, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 45624
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21179
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-C
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.

Description

The past decade has seen an increasing interest in forest management based on historical or natural disturbance dynamics. The rationale is that management that favours landscape compositions and stand structures similar to those found historically should also maintain biodiversity and essential ecological functions. In fire-dominated landscapes, this approach is feasible only if current and future fire frequencies are sufficiently low compared with the preindustrial fire frequency, so a substitution of fire by forest management can occur without elevating the overall frequency of disturbance. We address this question by comparing current and simulated future fire frequency based on 2 x CO2 and 3 x CO2 scenarios to historical reconstructions of fire frequency in the commercial forests of Quebec. For most regions, current and simulated future fire frequencies are lower than the historical fire frequency, suggesting that forest management could potentially be used to maintain or recreate the age-class distribution of fire-dominated preindustrial landscapes. Current even-aged management, however, tends to reduce forest variability by, for example, truncating the natural age-class distribution and eliminating mature and old-growth forests from the landscape. Therefore, in the context of sustainable forest management, silvicultural techniques that retain a spectrum of forest compositions and structures at different scales are necessary to maintain this variability and thereby allow a substitution of fire by harvesting. © 2006 National Research Council of Canada, NCR Research Press. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Citation:
Bergeron, Y. et al. 2006. Past, current, and future fire frequencies in Quebec's commercial forests: implications for the cumulative effects of harvesting and fire on age-class structure and natural disturbance-based management. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, v. 36, no. 11, p. 2737-2744. 10.1139/X06-177.