Fire and Diversity in Canadian Ecosystems

  • Luc C. Duchesne
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 20)


In Canada, before settlement by Europeans, fire was a dominant feature of most landscapes, with a recurrent passage every 50 to 350 years. Short fire frequencies are typical of the boreal and Great-Lakes St-Lawrence forest regions, whereas long frequencies are found in the coastal forests of British Columbia. A particular forest site may have been visited by fire between 30 to 120 times since forest colonization 7,000 years ago. Before that fire interacted with our current vegetation since at least the Miocene or early Pliocene (30 million and 12 million years ago, respectively) (Hopkins 1967). Clearly, Canadian forest ecosystems have evolved under the selective pressure of fire, leading to fire-adapted ecosystems. The nature of these adaptations varies greatly according to each fire regime typical of biogeographic zones and local conditions.


Boreal Forest Litter Decomposition Fire Regime Ground Beetle Prescribe Burning 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luc C. Duchesne
    • 1
  1. 1.Petawawa National Forestry InstituteCanadian Forest ServiceChalk RiverCanada

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