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Effects of restoration fire on dead wood heterogeneity and availability in three Pinus sylvestris forests in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
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2013 (English)In: Silva Fennica, ISSN 0037-5330, Vol. 47, no 2, 954- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Restoration fires are increasingly used as a conservation tool in Sweden to recreate forests with characteristics of previous forests that were periodically disturbed by fires and promote fire-dependent species. Restoration fires can result in large inputs of fresh dead wood, but there are risks of losing some of the existing, pre-fire dead wood. To assess these counteracting effects we studied the heterogeneity and availability of dead wood before and after three restoration fires in boreal Scots pine forests. Specifically, we studied volumes of stumps, high stumps, snags and logs. The fires decreased the total volume of pre-fire dead wood (23-41%) and consumed logs in late decay stages (26-54%) to a higher extent than logs in earlier stages. The input of new fresh dead wood after the fires exceeded losses of pre-fire dead wood and resulted in a net increase of dead wood in all three sites. The added dead wood consisted of fresh snags killed by the fires. Fire also affected log characteristics: reducing their vegetation coverage (60-98%), decreasing their ground contact (4-50%) and increasing their surface area of charred wood (>50%). Such changes have important consequences for the micro environmental conditions inside logs, but have been rarely studied in relation to restoration fires. Our results show that restoration fire causes changes in dead wood availability and characteristics of logs. The results imply that ideally stands with low abundance of rare and heavily decayed wood substrates should be burned to optimize dead wood values. Alternatively, management practices should include protection of these substrates during restoration fires.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 47, no 2, 954- p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences Forest Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-82642ISI: 000324907600007OAI: diva2:662294
Available from: 2013-11-06 Created: 2013-11-05 Last updated: 2013-11-06Bibliographically approved

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Olsson, Jörgen
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Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
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