Document


Title

The mid-Holocene extinction of silver fir (Abies alba) in the Southern Alps: a consequence of forest fires? Palaeobotanical records and forest simulations
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): L. Wick; A. Mohl
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • Abies alba
  • Abies alba
  • Abies spp.
  • charcoal
  • charcoal
  • dynamic forest model
  • Europe
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire resistant plants
  • forest management
  • Italy
  • moisture
  • montane forests
  • Northern Italy
  • paleoecology
  • pollen
  • pollen analysis
  • wildfires
Region(s):
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 48309
Tall Timbers Record Number: 24405
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.

Description

Pollen records suggest that Abies alba played a dominating role in both the montane and lowland forests at the border of the Southern Alps between ca. 8500 and 5700 years ago. Two major declines in fir, at about 7300-7000 cal B.P. And at ca. 6000 cal B.P., followed by the local extinction of the species are characteristic of the area below ca. 1000 m a.s.l. In order to test the impact of fire on the population dynamics of silver fir, a dynamic model (DisCForm) with a fire module was applied to simulate the early- and mid-Holocene forest development. Simulation outputs based on different fire scenarios were compared with the pollen record from Lago di Annone (226 m a.s.l.). The marked Abies decreases shown in the pollen record can be simulated with very intensive fire scenarios, but they do not result in an extinction of silver fir in the model. Low charcoal influx values related to the Abies declines in the palaeobotanical record suggest that fire was not the only reason for the extinction of silver fir. Human impact, as well as Holocene climatic changes leading to temporary moisture deficits and reduced adaptability due to low genetic variation may have had a significant impact on the Abies forests. © Speinger-Verlag 2006.

Citation:
Wick, L., and A. Mohl. 2006. The mid-Holocene extinction of silver fir (Abies alba) in the Southern Alps: a consequence of forest fires? Palaeobotanical records and forest simulations. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, v. 15, no. 4, p. 435-444. 10.1007/s00334-006-0051-0.