Tree species richness decreases while species evenness increases with disturbance frequency in a natural boreal forest landscape
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): D. Yeboah; H. Y.H. Chen; S. Kingston
Publication Year: 2016

Cataloging Information

  • biodiversity
  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • catastrophic fires
  • disturbance
  • drainage
  • eastern Canada
  • fire frequency
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • goodness-of-fit
  • intermediate disturbance hypothesis
  • plant diversity
  • post fire recovery
  • productivity
  • soil drainage class
  • species diversity
  • species diversity (plants)
  • stand dynamics
  • Structural Equation Models
  • Structural Equation Models
  • time since fire
  • western Canada
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 55119
Tall Timbers Record Number: 33040
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Available
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use

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.


Understanding species diversity and disturbance relationships is important for biodiversity conservation in disturbance-driven boreal forests. Species richness and evenness may respond differently with stand development following fire. Furthermore, few studies have simultaneously accounted for the influences of climate and local site conditions on species diversity. Using forest inventory data, we examined the relationships between species richness, Shannon's index, evenness, and time since last stand-replacing fire (TSF) in a large landscape of disturbance-driven boreal forest. TSF has negative effect on species richness and Shannon's index, and a positive effect on species evenness. Path analysis revealed that the environmental variables affect richness and Shannon's index only through their effects on TSF while affecting evenness directly as well as through their effects on TSF. Synthesis and applications. Our results demonstrate that species richness and Shannon's index decrease while species evenness increases with TSF in a boreal forest landscape. Furthermore, we show that disturbance frequency, local site conditions, and climate simultaneously influence tree species diversity through complex direct and indirect effects in the studied boreal forest. © 2015 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the orginal work is properly cited.

Online Link(s):
Yeboah, D., H. Y. H. Chen, and S. Kingston. 2016. Tree species richness decreases while species evenness increases with disturbance frequency in a natural boreal forest landscape. Ecology and Evolution, v. 6, no. 3, p. 842-850. 10.1002/ece3.1944.