Modelling the response of net primary productivity (NPP) of boreal forest ecosystems to changes in climate and fire disturbance regimes
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Changhui Peng; Michael J. Apps
Publication Year: 1999

Cataloging Information

  • biomass
  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • CENTURY 4.0
  • climate change
  • CO2 - carbon dioxide
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • ecosystem model
  • fertilization
  • fire disturbance
  • fire frequency
  • fire intensity
  • fire regimes
  • forest management
  • leaves
  • litter
  • Manitoba
  • N - nitrogen
  • net primary productivity
  • nutrient cycling
  • roots
  • Saskatchewan
  • SOM - soil organic matter
  • statistical analysis
  • vegetation surveys
  • wildfires
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 7, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 4879
Tall Timbers Record Number: 20686
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.


This study reports on the use of the process-based ecosystem model CENTURY 4.0 to investigate the patterns of net primary productivity (NPP) along a transect across the boreal forests of central Canada and the influence of climate change, CO2 fertilization and changing fire disturbance regimes on changes in NPP over time. Simulated NPP was tested against observed NPP data from northern sites near Thompson (Manitoba) and southern sites near Prince Albert (Saskatcheuan) and shown to be consistent with the data. The temporal dynamics of NPP were very different for the southern, central and northern sites, consistent with the hypothesis that different climate-driven processes regulate forest growth in the various regions of the boreal forest transect case study (BFTCS). The simulations suggest that climate change would result in increased NPP for most sites across the transect. According to the model results, increase in atmospheric CO2 also show increased NPP. The combined influence of climate change and elevated CO2 appear to interact in a positive, nut non-linear manner. Statisitical analysis of the simulation results indicate that changes in NPP are also positively correlated with changes in net N mineralization (R2 = 0.89). This supports the conclusion that feedback via N cycling -- a coupling of aboveground production with changes in belowground decomposition -- is very important for understanding the NPP dynamics of the boreal forest under a changing climate. It was also found that NPP increases with greater fire frequency under current climate conditions, at least over the range of fire return intervals considered (50-200 years). The influence of other changes in disturbance regimes (e.g. altered fire severity and concurrent changes in climate of CO2 fertilization), however, were not considered.

Online Link(s):
Peng, Changhui H.; Apps, Michael J. 1999. Modeling the response of net primary productivity (NPP) of boreal forest ecosystems to changes in climate and fire disturbance regimes. Ecological Modelling 122(3):175-193.