BergeronGauthierFlanniganEtAl2004

Référence

Bergeron, Y., Gauthier, S., Flannigan, M., Kafka, V. (2004) Fire regimes at the transition between mixedwood and coniferous borealforest in northwestern Quebec. Ecology, 85(7):1916-1932.

Résumé

Fire history was reconstructed for an area of 15 000 km2 located inthe transition zone between the mixed and coniferous forests inQuebec's southern boreal forest. We used aerial photographs, archives,and dendroecological data (315 sites) to reconstruct a stand initiationmap for the area. The cumulative distribution of burnt area in relationto time since fire suggests that the fire frequency has decreaseddrastically since the end of the Little Ice Age (about 1850) inthe entire region. However, a large part of the area was burnedbetween 1910 and 1920 during intensive colonization and when theclimate was very conducive to fire. For the period 1920-1945, largefires have mainly been concentrated in the more populated southernarea, while few fires have been observed in the virgin coniferousforest in the north. Despite slight differences between the southand the north, fire cycles or the average number of years sincefire are not significantly different. Since 1945, there have beenfar more fires in the south, but the mean fire size was smallerthan in the north. These results suggest that the transition betweenthe mixed and coniferous forests observed in the southern borealforest cannot be explained by a difference in fire frequency, atleast during the last 300 years. As climatic factors and speciespotential distribution did not vary significantly from south tonorth, we suggest that the transition from mixedwood to coniferousforests is mainly controlled by fire size and severity. Smallerand less severe fires would favor species associated with the mixedwoodforests as many need survivors to reinvade burnt areas. The abundanceof deciduous species in mixedwood forests, together with the presenceof more lakes that can act as firebreaks, may contribute to decreasesin fire size and severity. The transition between the two vegetationzones could be related to the initial setting following the vegetationinvasion of the area during the Holocene. In this context, the limitof vegetation zones in systems controlled by disturbance regimessuch as fires may not have reached a balance with current climaticconditions. Historical legacies and strong positive feedback betweendisturbance regimes and composition may filter and delay the responsesto changes in climate.

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@ARTICLE { BergeronGauthierFlanniganEtAl2004,
    AUTHOR = { Bergeron, Y. and Gauthier, S. and Flannigan, M. and Kafka, V. },
    TITLE = { Fire regimes at the transition between mixedwood and coniferous borealforest in northwestern Quebec },
    JOURNAL = { Ecology },
    YEAR = { 2004 },
    VOLUME = { 85 },
    PAGES = { 1916-1932 },
    NUMBER = { 7 },
    ABSTRACT = { Fire history was reconstructed for an area of 15 000 km2 located inthe transition zone between the mixed and coniferous forests inQuebec's southern boreal forest. We used aerial photographs, archives,and dendroecological data (315 sites) to reconstruct a stand initiationmap for the area. The cumulative distribution of burnt area in relationto time since fire suggests that the fire frequency has decreaseddrastically since the end of the Little Ice Age (about 1850) inthe entire region. However, a large part of the area was burnedbetween 1910 and 1920 during intensive colonization and when theclimate was very conducive to fire. For the period 1920-1945, largefires have mainly been concentrated in the more populated southernarea, while few fires have been observed in the virgin coniferousforest in the north. Despite slight differences between the southand the north, fire cycles or the average number of years sincefire are not significantly different. Since 1945, there have beenfar more fires in the south, but the mean fire size was smallerthan in the north. These results suggest that the transition betweenthe mixed and coniferous forests observed in the southern borealforest cannot be explained by a difference in fire frequency, atleast during the last 300 years. As climatic factors and speciespotential distribution did not vary significantly from south tonorth, we suggest that the transition from mixedwood to coniferousforests is mainly controlled by fire size and severity. Smallerand less severe fires would favor species associated with the mixedwoodforests as many need survivors to reinvade burnt areas. The abundanceof deciduous species in mixedwood forests, together with the presenceof more lakes that can act as firebreaks, may contribute to decreasesin fire size and severity. The transition between the two vegetationzones could be related to the initial setting following the vegetationinvasion of the area during the Holocene. In this context, the limitof vegetation zones in systems controlled by disturbance regimessuch as fires may not have reached a balance with current climaticconditions. Historical legacies and strong positive feedback betweendisturbance regimes and composition may filter and delay the responsesto changes in climate. },
    KEYWORDS = { Boreal forest Canada Climate change Dendroecology Disturbance regimeFire Mixedwood forest Vegetation zone boreal forest climate changecommunity dynamics coniferous forest fire history historical ecologymixed forest Canada North America Quebec },
    OWNER = { brugerolles },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2007.12.04 },
}

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