Document


Title

Will climate change drive 21st century burn rates in Canadian boreal forest outside of its natural variability: collating global climate model experiments with sedimentary charcoal data
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Yves Bergeron; Dominic Cyr; Martin P. Girardin; Christopher Carcaillet
Publication Year: 2010

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • air temperature
  • area burned
  • boreal forests
  • burning intervals
  • Canada
  • catastrophic fires
  • charcoal
  • charcoal data
  • climate change
  • coniferous forests
  • droughts
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • Ontario
  • paleoecology
  • precipitation
  • Quebec
  • sediment charcoal
  • sedimentation
  • statistical analysis
  • wildfires
Region(s):
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: October 16, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 49275
Tall Timbers Record Number: 25618
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals - I
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

Natural ecosystems have developed within ranges of conditions that can serve as references for setting conservation targets or assessing the current ecological integrity of managed ecosystems. Because of their climate determinism, forest fires are likely to have consequences that could exacerbate biophysical and socioeconomical vulnerabilities in the context of climate change. We evaluated future trends in fire activity under climate change in the eastern Canadian boreal forest and investigated whether these changes were included in the variability observed during the last 7000 years from sedimentary charcoal records from three lakes. Prediction of future annual area burned was made using simulated Monthly Drought Code data collected from an ensemble of 19 global climate model experiments. The increase in burn rate that is predicted for the end of the 21st century (0.45% year-1 with 95% confidence interval (0.32, 0.59) falls well within the long-term past variability (0.37 to 0.90% year-1). Although our results suggest that the predicted change in burn rates per se will not move this ecosystem to new conditions, the effects of increasing fire incidence cumulated with current rates of clear-cutting or other low-retention types of harvesting, which still prevail in this region, remain preoccupying.

Online Link(s):
Citation:
Bergeron, Yves; Cyr, Dominic; Girardin, Martin P.; Carcaillet, Christopher. 2010. Will climate change drive 21st century burn rates in Canadian boreal forest outside of its natural variability: collating global climate model experiments with sedimentary charcoal data. International Journal of Wildland Fire 19(8):1127-1139.