Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Fire in the Boreal Forest

  • J.S. Rowe (a1) and G.W. Scotter (a2)

The boreal forest in North America owes much of its floristic and faunistic diversity to periodic fires ignited by lightning and by man since he appeared on the scene. The indirect evidences of buring in vegetation and soils, and recent direct observations of fires, are reviewed. Fire is shown to exert a significant effect on vegetational composition, on soil chemical properties and thermal regime, and on animal populations through the particular mosaic of habitats created. In turn, fire is itselt influenced by the nature of geographic landscape ecosystems according to their surface forms, accumulations of organic materials, and susceptibility to drought. It is concluded that fire should be viewed as a normal ecological process in the boreal forest. A thorough understanding of its long-term role in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems is needed.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

L.C. Bliss , R.W. Wein , (1972). Plant community responses to disturbances in the western Canadian arctic. Canadian Journal of Botany 50, 10971109.

W.G. Bloomberg , (1950). Fire and spruce. Forestry Chronicle 26, 157161.

J.R. Bray , E. Gorham , (1964). Litter production in forests of the world. Advances in Ecological Research 2, 101157.

R.A. Bryson , W.N. Irving , J.A. Larsen , (1965). Radiocarbon and soil evidence of former forest in the southern Canadian tundra. Science 147, 3653 4648.

R.J. Day , (1972). Stand structure, succession, and use of southern Alberta's Rocky Mountain forest. Ecology 53, 3 472478.

R.L. Dix , J.M.A. Swan , (1971). Role of disturbance and succession of upland forest around Candle Lake, Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Botany 49, 657667.

R.Y. Edwards , (1954). Fire and the decline of a mountain caribou herd. Journal of Wildlife Management 18, 521526.

J.D. Gagnon , (1965). Nitrogen deficiency in the York River Burn, Gaspé, Quebec. Plant and Soil 23, 4959.

W.E.D. Halliday , A.W.A. Brown , (1943). The distribution of some important forest trees in Canada. Ecology 24, 353373.

E.W. Jones , (1945). Structure and reproduction of the virgin forest of the north temperate zone. New Phytologist 44, 130148.

L.B. Keith , D.C. Surrendi , (1971). Effects of fire on a snowshoe hare population. Journal of Wildlife Management 35, 1626.

H. Knight , (1966). Loss of nitrogen from the forest floor by burning. Forestry Chronicle 42, 149152.

G.H. La Roi , (1967). Ecological studies in the boreal spruce-fir forests of the North American taiga. I. Analysis of the vascular flora. Ecological Monographs 37, 229253.

R.W. Mutch , (1970). Wildland fires and ecosystems—a hypothesis. Ecology 51, 6 10461051.

J.C. Ritchie , (1960a). The vegetation of northern Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Botany 38, 185199.

J.C. Ritchie , (1960b). The vegetation of northern Manitoba. VI. The lower Hayes River region. Canadian Journal of Botany 38, 769788.

W.R. Rouse , K.A. Kershaw , (1971). The effect of burning on the heat and water regimes of lichen-dominated subarctic surfaces. Arctic and Alpine Research 3, 291304.

J. Rousseau , (1952). Les zones biologiques de la Péninsule Québec-Labrador et l'hémiarctique. Canadian Journal of Botany 30, 436474.

J.S. Rowe , (1953). Forest sites—a discussion. Forestry Chronicle 29, 278289.

G.W. Scotter , (1963). Growth rates of Cladonia alpestris, C. mitis and C. rangiferina in the Taltson River region, N.W.T. Canadian Journal of Botany 41, 11991202.

D.W. Smith , J.H. Sparling , (1966). The temperatures of surface fires in jack pine barren. I. The variation in temperature with time. II. The effects of vegetation cover, wind speed, and relative humidity on fire temperatures. Canadian Journal of Botany 44, 12851298.

D.W. Smith , (1970). Concentrations of soil nutrients before and after fire. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 50, 1729.

R. Strang , (1972). Succession in unburned subarctic woodlands. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 3, 140143.

L.A. Viereck , (1970). Forest succession and soil development adjacent to the Chena River in interior Alaska. Arctic and Alpine Research 2, 1 126.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Abstract views

Total abstract views: 125 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 28th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.