Wildfire and forest harvest disturbances in the boreal forest leave different long-lasting spatial signatures
- 473 Downloads
Natural disturbances leave long-term legacies that vary among landscapes and ecosystem types, and which become integral parts of successional processes at a given location. As humans change land use, not only are immediate post-disturbance patterns altered, but the processes of recovery themselves are likely altered by the disturbance. We assessed whether short-term effects on soil and vegetation that distinguish wildfire from forest harvest persist over 60 years after disturbance in boreal black spruce forests, or post-disturbance processes of recovery promote convergence of the two disturbance types.
Using semi-variograms and Principal Coordinates of Neighbour Matrices, we formulated precise, a priori spatial hypotheses to discriminate spatial signatures following wildfire and forest harvest both over the short- (16–18 years) and long-term (62–98 years).
Both over the short- and the long-term, wildfire generated a wide spectrum of responses in soil and vegetation properties at different spatial scales, while logging produced simpler patterns corresponding to the regular linear pattern of harvest trails and to pre-disturbance ericaceous shrub patches that persist between trails.
Disturbance by harvest simplified spatial patterns associated with soil and vegetation properties compared to patterns associated with natural disturbance by fire. The observed differences in these patterns between disturbance types persist for over 60 years. Ecological management strategies inspired by natural disturbances should aim to increase the complexity of patterns associated with harvest interventions.
KeywordsBlack spruce boreal forest Ecosystem management Forest disturbance Land-use legacies Spatial modelling
We gratefully acknowledge support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC Discovery grant to A.D. Munson; NSERC Strategic grant to A.D. Munson, C.M. Preston, R.L Bradley and J.W. Shipley). We thank E. Allard, A. Beaumont, S. Boivin-Chabot, and M. Vachon for their help with fieldwork.
- Bellier E, Monestiez P, Durbec JP, Candau JN (2007) Identifying spatial relationships at multiple scales: principal coordinates of neighbour matrices (PCNM) and geostatistical approaches. Ecography 30:385–399Google Scholar
- Bennett JN, Prescott CE (2004) Organic and inorganic nitrogen nutrition of western red cedar, western hemlock and salal in mineral N-limited cedar-hemlock forests. Oecologia 141:468–476Google Scholar
- Burnham KP, Anderson DR (2002) Model selection and multimodel inference: a practical information-theoretic approach. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Chamberlin T (1965) The method of multiple working hypotheses. Science 148:754–759Google Scholar
- Dray S (2006a) packfor. R package version 0.0-7. http://biomserv.univ-lyon1.fr/~dray/software.php
- Dray S (2006b) spacemakeR: spatial modelling. R package version 0.0-3. http://biomserv.univ-lyon1.fr/~dray/software.php
- Esser K (2001) Progress in botany. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Gauthier S, Vaillancourt M-A, Leduc A, De Grandpré L, Kneeshaw DD, Morin H, Drapeau P, Bergeron Y (2008) Aménagement écosystémique en forêt boréale. Presses de l’Université du Québec, MontrealGoogle Scholar
- Isaaks EH, Srivastava RM (1989) An introduction to applied geostatistics. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Joanisse GD, Bradley RL, Preston CM, Munson AD (2007) Soil enzyme inhibition by condensed litter tannins may drive ecosystem structure and processes: the case of Kalmia angustifolia. New Phytol 175:535–546Google Scholar
- Journel AJ, Huijbregts (1978) Mining statistics. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Kohm KA, Franklin JF (1997) Creating a forestry for the 21st century. The science of ecosystem management. Island Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
- Kraus TEC, Dahlgren RA, Zasoski RJ (2003) Tannins in nutrient dynamics of forest ecosystems – a review. Plant Soil 256:41–66Google Scholar
- Laberge-Pelletier C (2007) L’environnement des éricacées des forêts de l’est du Québec. M.Sc. thesis, Université Laval, Québec, QC, CanadaGoogle Scholar
- Legendre P, Legendre L (1998) Numerical ecology (2nd ed.). Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
- Mallik AU (2003) Conifer regeneration problems in boreal and temperate forests with ericaceous understorey: role of disturbance, seedbed limitation and keystone species change. Crit Rev Plant Sci 22:341–366.Google Scholar
- MRNQ (1994) Une stratégie: aménager pour mieux protéger les forêts. Ministère des Ressources Naturelles du Québec, Direction des programmes forestiers, Charlesbourg, QC, CanadaGoogle Scholar
- NRC (2008) Forest fire in Canada. Available at: http://cwfis.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca (accessed 27 August 2008)
- Peterson EB (1965) Inhibition of black spruce primary roots by a water-soluble substance in Kalmia angustifolia. For Sci 11:473–479Google Scholar
- R Development Core Team (2004) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing. (http://R-project.org). Vienna, Austria
- Ribeiro PJ Jr, Diggle PJ (2001) geoR: a package for geostatistical analysis. R-NEWS 1:15–18Google Scholar
- Rowe JS (1972) Forest regions of Canada. Canadian Forestry Service. Departmental Publication 1300, Ottawa, ON, CanadaGoogle Scholar
- Saucier JP, Grondin P, Robitaille A, Gosselin J, Morneau C, Richard PJH, Brisson J, Sirois L, Leduc A, Morin H, Thiffault E, Gauthier S, Lavoie C, Payette S (2009) Écologie forestière. In: O.d.i.f.d. (ed) Manuel de Foresterie. Éditions MultiMondes, Québec, QC, Canada, pp. 165–316Google Scholar
- Soil Classification Working Group (1998) The Canadian system of soil classification, 3rd edn. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Publication 1646, OttawaGoogle Scholar
- Titus BD, Sidhu SS, Mallik AU (1995) A summary of some studies on Kalmia angustifolia L.: a problem species in Newfoundland forestry. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Information Report N-X-296, St. John’s, NL, CanadaGoogle Scholar
- Turner MG, Gardner RH, O’Neill RV (2001) Landscape ecology in theory and practice. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Walker JF, Stevens DR (1947) Pulpwood skidding with horses. Efficiency of technique. Canadian Pulp and Paper Association and Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, Montreal, QC, CanadaGoogle Scholar
- Walker LR, Willig MR (1999) An introduction to terrestrial disturbances. In: Walker LR (ed) Ecosystems of disturbed ground. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, pp 1–16Google Scholar
- Yarborough DE, Hanchar JJ, Skinner SP, Ismail AI (1986) Weed response, yield, and economics of hexazinone and nitrogen use in lowbush blueberry production. Weed Sci 34:723–729Google Scholar