Synthesizing published knowledge of boreal forest cover change for large-scale landscape dynamics modelling
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Dennis G. Yemshanov; Ajith H. Perera
Publication Year: 2003

Cataloging Information

  • age classes
  • boreal biome
  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • disturbance
  • forest management
  • landscape ecology
  • landscape ecology
  • probabilistic model
  • statistical analysis
  • succession
  • transition matrix
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: April 30, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 50431
Tall Timbers Record Number: 27033
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.


We reviewed the published knowledge on forest succession in the North American boreal biome for its applicability in modelling forest cover change over large extents. At broader scales, forest succession can be viewed as forest cover change over time. Quantitative case studies of forest succession in peer-reviewed literature are reliable sources of information about changes in forest canopy composition. We reviewed the following aspects of forest succession in literature: disturbances; pathways of post-disturbance forest cover change; timing of successional steps; probabilities of post-disturbance forest cover change, and effects of geographic location and ecological site conditions on forest cover change. The results from studies in the literature, which were mostly based on sample plot observations, appeared to be sufficient to describe boreal forest cover change as a generalized discrete-state transition process, with the discrete states denoted by tree species dominance. In this paper, we outline an approach for incorporating published knowledge on forest succession into stochastic simulation models of boreal forest cover change in a standardized manner. We found that the lack of details in the literature on long-term forest succession, particularly on the influence of pre-disturbance forest cover composition, may be limiting factors in parameterizing simulation models. We suggest that the simulation models based on published information can provide a good foundation as null models, which can be further calibrated as detailed quantitative information on forest cover change becomes available. © The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut Forestier du Canada. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Yemshanov, D., and A. H. Perera. 2003. Synthesizing published knowledge of boreal forest cover change for large-scale landscape dynamics modelling. Forestry Chronicle, v. 79, no. 1, p. 132-146.