Theme: East-West Interdisciplinaty Boreal Forest Fire Experiment, Part 2 Moderator: J. G. Goldammer
Post-fire Recovery of Subordinate Layers and Litter in Scots Pine Forests of the Russian North
Gorshkov, Vadim, Bakkal, Irene, Stavrova, Natalie
Recovery time after perturbation (the time of stabilization or of relaxation) is a fundamental characteristic of vegetation. One of the ways to estimate the stabilization time of vegetation cover is to trace the process of its recovering after surface fires.
Investigations conducted in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests of lichen (I) and green moss (II) site type in the Kola peninsula, burned between 5 and 210 years ago, have shown that during the recovery process dwarf shrub and grass layer coverage and species structure stabilize first, 530 (I, II) years after fire. The relative (±10 % of the value in steady state) stabilization of coverage by moss-lichen and tree layer is detected 60 years after fire. Structure of moss-lichen dominant species composition stabilized 60 years (II) and 120140 years (I) after fire. Complete stabilization of coverage and species structure of all forest strata (i.e. tree, dwarf shrub and grass, moss-lichen) is detected 120140 years after fire. Thickness of litter stabilized 90 years (I) and 120140 years (II) after fire. The height of dwarf shrubs layer stabilized 40 years (II) and 120140 (I) years after fire, that of tree layer 120140 years (I, II); the height of lichen carpet stabilized 60 (II) and >210 (I) years after fire (relative stabilization in the latter case is observed ca. years 150 after fire).
The lack of change in characteristics of separate components in forests which had burned more than 120140 years ago testify the overall community stabilization. Relaxation time of communities after various external perturbations is estimated by other investigators ca. 100150 years. Therefore, expiration period of the perturbation (fire, other disturbances), i.e. time period after whose expiration the community could be treated as climax, is considered to be ca. 100150 years.