Net primary productivity following forest fire for Canadian ecoregions Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Recent modelling results indicate that forest fires and other disturbances determine the magnitude of the Canadian forest carbon balance. The regeneration of post-fire vegetation is key to the recovery of net primary productivity (NPP) following fire. We geographically co-registered pixels classed using the Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator, a process-based model with AVHRR (advanced very-high resolution radiometer) satellite estimates of leaf-area index and land cover type, with polygons from a recent database of large Canadian fires. NPP development with time since fire was derived for the first 15 years following the disturbance in the boreal and taiga ecozones. About 7 × 106 ha were analysed for over 500 fires occurring between 1980 and 1994. NPP increases linearly through this period, at rates that depend on ecoregion. A longer data set for the Boreal Plains ecozone of Alberta shows that NPP levels off at about 20-30 years and remains constant for 60 years. The NPP trajectories can be used as spatial averages to support models of forest carbon balance and succession through the most fire-prone regions of Canada.

publication date

  • June 1, 2000