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Post-fire Recruitment Failure as a Driver of Forest to Non-forest Ecosystem Shifts in Boreal Regions

Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD,volume 241)

Abstract

Climate change and land-use are driving large changes in forest ecosystems around the globe. In the boreal biome it is likely that increases in temperature and the associated lengthening of the growing season will cause the forest to expand into the northern tundra and upwards in elevation, whilst potentially contracting at its southern limits. This increase in temperature is also driving an increase in the frequency and severity of boreal forest fires. A growing number of studies have observed the failure of forest species to re-establish after a stand-replacing fire event, which results in the shift to a non-forested ecosystem. In this chapter, this process is referred to as post-fire recruitment failure. We provide multiple lines of evidence for boreal forests, and more specifically for southern Siberia forests, that a possible regional tipping point is unfolding, which could lead to the rapid replacement of large areas of forest ecosystems with low-stature non-forest ecosystems. This change would come with significant consequences for the carbon balance, surface albedo and the resulting altered energy balance.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-71330-0_4
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Correspondence to Arden Burrell .

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Burrell, A., Kukavskaya, E., Baxter, R., Sun, Q., Barrett, K. (2021). Post-fire Recruitment Failure as a Driver of Forest to Non-forest Ecosystem Shifts in Boreal Regions. In: Canadell, J.G., Jackson, R.B. (eds) Ecosystem Collapse and Climate Change. Ecological Studies, vol 241. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-71330-0_4

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