Plant diversity and cover after wildfire on anthropogenic ally disturbed and undisturbed sites in Subarctic upland Picea mariana forest
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): S. Nowak; G. P. Kershaw; L. J. Kershaw
Publication Year: 2002

Cataloging Information

  • black spruce
  • boreal
  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • cover
  • disturbance
  • drainage
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • fuel loading
  • industrial corridor
  • microclimate
  • Northwest Territories
  • Picea mariana
  • population density
  • post fire recovery
  • Postfire
  • soil moisture
  • species diversity (plants)
  • subarctic vegetation
  • succession
  • succession
  • vegetation surveys
  • wildfire
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 50267
Tall Timbers Record Number: 26849
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Not in 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.


Postfire development of cover and diversity was studied in an upland Picea mariana-dominated forest in theCanadian Subarctic. Short-term vegetation responses of 10- and 22-year-old cleared rights-of-way and a forest site were investigated two and three growing seasons after a wildfire. Prefire and postfire investigation of the study site allowed direct comparison of species cover and frequency values, as well as the Shannon-Wiener diversity index, before and after the fire. The fire considerably reduced diversity on all sites. Species diversity increased with the level of prefire disturbance. Prefire disturbance influenced the fire's characteristics by altering the fuel load and soil moisture, which in turn affected the postfire revegetationthrough different soil and microclimatic conditions. The sites that were most severely disturbed before the fire experienced the most rapid revegetation, including the highest diversity index and highest plant cover. Of the sites that were undisturbed before the fire, the natural drainage swales offered the best growing conditions after the burn. Furthermore, prefire disturbance increased the patchiness of the burned area, and the residual flora of unburned patches added to postfire floristic diversity. © The Arctic Institute of North America.

Nowak, S., G. P. Kershaw, and L. J. Kershaw. 2002. Plant diversity and cover after wildfire on anthropogenic ally disturbed and undisturbed sites in Subarctic upland Picea mariana forest. Arctic, v. 55, no. 3, p. 269-280.