The Bor Forest Island Fire Experiment
Fire Research Campaign Asia-North (FIRESCAN)
Fire is an important natural and anthropogenic factor in the dynamics of the boreal forest system. The ecological and environmental impacts of boreal fires depend on fire weather, fuel availability, fire behavior, and the history of stand development (frequency and size of fires and other biotic and abiotic disturbances, influence of surrounding landscape on successional developments). About 70% of the global boreal forest is in Eurasia, almost all of it in the Russian Federation. It is estimated that in years with high fire danger up to ca. 10 million ha of forest and other land in the Russian Federation are affected by fire. The demand for reliable information on the role of natural and anthropogenic fire, and the necessity of developing adequate fire management systems, is basically due to globally increasing concerns about (1) impacts of boreal wildfires on atmosphere and climate, (2) changing utilization and ecologically destructive practices in boreal forestry, and (3) possible consequences of global climate change on the boreal forest system (Crutzen and Goldammer 1993).
In 1993 a conference on Fire in Ecosystems of Boreal Eurasia, and a subsequent Fire Research Campaign Asia-North (FIRESCAN) were organized, in tandem, in the Krasnoyarsk Region, Central Siberia. The aim of the conference was to compile, discuss and publish the state of knowledge on fire in boreal ecosystems, particularly in Eurasia (Goldammer and Furyaev 1996).
The research campaign was designed to investigate hypotheses developed by the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA), Stand Replacement Fire Working Group. These hypotheses are related to quantitatively understanding boreal ecosystems, the role of fire in boreal ecosystems, and modeling and predicting forest dynamics. The involvement of atmospheric scientists through the structures of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project, a core project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) gave additional insights into aspects of fire emissions and atmospheric chemistry. On 6 July 1993 a large forest fire experiment was conducted on Bor Forest Island, Krasnoyarsk Region, Russia. In this paper the results of the first phase of the experiment are given and the medium- to long-term objectives of follow-up research are described.