Document Detail


Long-term effects of fire frequency on carbon storage and productivity of boreal forests: a modeling study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15123448     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Climate change is predicted to shorten the fire interval in boreal forests. Many studies have recorded positive effects of fire on forest growth over a few decades, but few have modeled the long-term effects of the loss of carbon and nitrogen to the atmosphere. We used a process-based, dynamic, forest ecosystem model, which couples the carbon, nitrogen and water cycles, to simulate the effects of fire frequency on coniferous forests in the climate of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The model was calibrated to simulate observed forest properties. The model predicted rapid short-term recovery of net primary productivity (NPP) after fire, but in the long term, supported the hypotheses that (1) current NPP and carbon content of boreal forests are lower than they would be without periodic fire, and (2) any increase in fire frequency in the future will tend to lower NPP and carbon storage. Lower long-term NPP and carbon storage were attributable to (1) loss of carbon on combustion, equal to about 20% of NPP over a 100-200 year fire cycle, (2) loss of nitrogen by volatilization in fire, equal to about 3-4 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) over a 100-200 year fire cycle, and (3) the fact that the normal fire cycle is much shorter than the time taken for the forest (especially the soil) to reach an equilibrium carbon and nitrogen content. It was estimated that a shift in fire frequency from 200 to 100 years over 1000 Mha of boreal forest would release an average of about 0.1 Gt C year(-1) over many centuries.
Authors:
J H M Thornley; M G R Cannell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Tree physiology     Volume:  24     ISSN:  0829-318X     ISO Abbreviation:  Tree Physiol.     Publication Date:  2004 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-05-04     Completed Date:  2006-02-13     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100955338     Medline TA:  Tree Physiol     Country:  Canada    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  765-73     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2004 Heron Publishing
Affiliation:
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB, U.K.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Carbon
Ecosystem
Fires
Models, Theoretical
Nitrogen
Saskatchewan
Trees / physiology*
Water
Chemical
Reg. No./Substance:
7440-44-0/Carbon; 7727-37-9/Nitrogen; 7732-18-5/Water

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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