Forest fire histories and tree age structures in Värriö and Maltio Strict Nature Reserves, northern Finland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Wildfires virtually disappeared from the Fennoscandian forests in the 20th century, but have left persistent legacies in forest structure. Here, I reconstructed past fires in three northern boreal landscapes (each 2 km x 2 km) from fire scars, and described the fire regime for the past 300 years. The average fire cycles (1700-1999) were 72 and 156 years in Pinus sylvestris-dominated landscapes, and 579 years in a Picea abies-dominated landscape. At the site level, the number of fires was clearly related to soil hydraulic properties. Age structures from 1800 live and dead trees showed strong cohorts associated with large fires in two of the landscapes. Although tree growth and regeneration in sub-arctic regions are considered highly climate-sensitive, fires have been a major driver of forest dynamics in these areas. Continued absence of fires will lead to considerable changes in the forest structure and species composition in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBoreal Environment Research
Volume23
Pages (from-to)209-219
Number of pages11
ISSN1239-6095
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 4112 Forestry
  • BOREAL FOREST
  • EASTERN FINLAND
  • RESTORATION
  • PRINCIPLES
  • CHARCOAL
  • REGIMES
  • RECORDS
  • LAKE

Cite this

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title = "Forest fire histories and tree age structures in V{\"a}rri{\"o} and Maltio Strict Nature Reserves, northern Finland",
abstract = "Wildfires virtually disappeared from the Fennoscandian forests in the 20th century, but have left persistent legacies in forest structure. Here, I reconstructed past fires in three northern boreal landscapes (each 2 km x 2 km) from fire scars, and described the fire regime for the past 300 years. The average fire cycles (1700-1999) were 72 and 156 years in Pinus sylvestris-dominated landscapes, and 579 years in a Picea abies-dominated landscape. At the site level, the number of fires was clearly related to soil hydraulic properties. Age structures from 1800 live and dead trees showed strong cohorts associated with large fires in two of the landscapes. Although tree growth and regeneration in sub-arctic regions are considered highly climate-sensitive, fires have been a major driver of forest dynamics in these areas. Continued absence of fires will lead to considerable changes in the forest structure and species composition in the future.",
keywords = "4112 Forestry, BOREAL FOREST, EASTERN FINLAND, RESTORATION, PRINCIPLES, CHARCOAL, REGIMES, RECORDS, LAKE",
author = "Tuomas Aakala",
year = "2018",
language = "English",
volume = "23",
pages = "209--219",
journal = "Boreal Environment Research",
issn = "1239-6095",
publisher = "Finnish Environment Institute",

}

Forest fire histories and tree age structures in Värriö and Maltio Strict Nature Reserves, northern Finland. / Aakala, Tuomas.

In: Boreal Environment Research, Vol. 23, 2018, p. 209-219.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Forest fire histories and tree age structures in Värriö and Maltio Strict Nature Reserves, northern Finland

AU - Aakala, Tuomas

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Wildfires virtually disappeared from the Fennoscandian forests in the 20th century, but have left persistent legacies in forest structure. Here, I reconstructed past fires in three northern boreal landscapes (each 2 km x 2 km) from fire scars, and described the fire regime for the past 300 years. The average fire cycles (1700-1999) were 72 and 156 years in Pinus sylvestris-dominated landscapes, and 579 years in a Picea abies-dominated landscape. At the site level, the number of fires was clearly related to soil hydraulic properties. Age structures from 1800 live and dead trees showed strong cohorts associated with large fires in two of the landscapes. Although tree growth and regeneration in sub-arctic regions are considered highly climate-sensitive, fires have been a major driver of forest dynamics in these areas. Continued absence of fires will lead to considerable changes in the forest structure and species composition in the future.

AB - Wildfires virtually disappeared from the Fennoscandian forests in the 20th century, but have left persistent legacies in forest structure. Here, I reconstructed past fires in three northern boreal landscapes (each 2 km x 2 km) from fire scars, and described the fire regime for the past 300 years. The average fire cycles (1700-1999) were 72 and 156 years in Pinus sylvestris-dominated landscapes, and 579 years in a Picea abies-dominated landscape. At the site level, the number of fires was clearly related to soil hydraulic properties. Age structures from 1800 live and dead trees showed strong cohorts associated with large fires in two of the landscapes. Although tree growth and regeneration in sub-arctic regions are considered highly climate-sensitive, fires have been a major driver of forest dynamics in these areas. Continued absence of fires will lead to considerable changes in the forest structure and species composition in the future.

KW - 4112 Forestry

KW - BOREAL FOREST

KW - EASTERN FINLAND

KW - RESTORATION

KW - PRINCIPLES

KW - CHARCOAL

KW - REGIMES

KW - RECORDS

KW - LAKE

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 209

EP - 219

JO - Boreal Environment Research

JF - Boreal Environment Research

SN - 1239-6095

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