Current issue: 57(2)

Under compilation: 57(3)

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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'fire refugia'

Category: Research article

article id 558, category Research article
Tuomo Wallenius. (2002). Forest age distribution and traces of past fires in a natural boreal landscape dominated by Picea abies. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 558.
Keywords: boreal forest; disturbance dynamics; fire refugia; tree age
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Forest age distribution and occurrence of traces of past fires was studied in a natural Picea abies -dominated landscape in the Onega peninsula in north-west Russia. Forest age (maximum tree age) was determined and charcoal and fire scars were searched for in 43 randomly located study plots. In 70% of the study plots (30/43) trees older than 200 years existed. The largest 50-year age class consisted of plots with 251–300 year old forests. Traces of fires were found in all types of study plots, in forests on mineral soil as well as on peatlands. However, fire has been a rare disturbance factor, as traces of fires could not be found in 35% of the study plots (15/43). Estimated from the forest age class distribution, the fire rotation time for the whole area has been at least 300 years, but possibly considerably longer. This fire rotation time is much longer than fire history studies (largely based on examination of fire scars) commonly have reported for the average time between successive fires in Fennoscandia and Northwest Russia. The results suggest that the often stated generalisations about the importance and natural frequency of fire disturbance in boreal forests do not apply in landscapes dominated by Picea abies.
  • Wallenius, Department of Ecology and Systematics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 56, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: (email)

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