Influence of fire intensity on structure and composition of jack pine stands in the boreal forest of Quebec: live trees, understory vegetation and dead wood dynamics
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): E. Smirnova; Y. Bergeron; S. Brais
Publication Year: 2008

Cataloging Information

  • age classes
  • biomass
  • black spruce
  • black spruce
  • boreal forest
  • boreal forests
  • bryophytes
  • Canada
  • coniferous forests
  • CWD - coarse woody debris
  • disturbance
  • fire intensity
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire scar analysis
  • forest management
  • heavy fuels
  • herbaceous vegetation
  • jack pine
  • lichens
  • overstory
  • Picea mariana
  • Pinus banksiana
  • population density
  • Quebec
  • sodium
  • stand characteristics
  • stand structure
  • statistical analysis
  • structural diversity
  • succession
  • trees
  • understory vegetation
  • wood
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 27, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 46977
Tall Timbers Record Number: 22819
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
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.


North American jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) stands are generally characterized by an even-aged structure resulting from high intensity fires (HIF). However, non-lethal fires of moderate intensity (MIF), which leave behind surviving trees, have also been reported. The objectives of this study were two-fold: (1) assess the concurrent dynamics of live trees, understory vegetation and different types of coarse woody debris (CWD) during succession after HIF; and (2) document how MIF affects stand structure component dynamics compared to HIF. Stands affected by both HIF and MIF were selected. Tree characteristics and age structure, understory biomass, and CWD volume were assessed. Our results suggest that the structural succession of jack pine stands following HIF comprises three stages: young stands (<48 years), premature and mature stands (58-100 years) and old stands (>118 years). Canopy openness and jack pine density significantly decreased with time since HIF, while black spruce density and CWD volume significantly increased. The highest structural diversity was measured in the premature and mature stands. Compared to HIF, MIF increased mean jack pine basal area, decreased average stand density, delayed the replacement of jack pine by black spruce replacement in the canopy, decreased CWD volume, and significantly increased bryophytes mass. MIF increased the diversity of live trees and generally decreased CWD structural diversity. The study confirms the diversity of natural disturbance magnitude and successional processes thereby initiated. Thereafter, it appeared to be relevant for adjustment of disturbance emulating forest-management systems. Crown Copyright © 2008 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Smirnova, E., Y. Bergeron, and S. Brais. 2008. Influence of fire intensity on structure and composition of jack pine stands in the boreal forest of Quebec: live trees, understory vegetation and dead wood dynamics. Forest Ecology and Management, v. 255, no. 7, p. 2916-2927. 10.1016/j.foreco.2008.01.071.