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Decadal effects of forest fire on biodiversity and browsing : a comparison between wildfire and prescribed burning

Fredriksson, Emelie (2021). Decadal effects of forest fire on biodiversity and browsing : a comparison between wildfire and prescribed burning. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880
ISBN 978-91-7760-841-7
eISBN 978-91-7760-842-4
[Doctoral thesis]

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The role of fire as a natural disturbance in northern European boreal ecosystems has largely disappeared due to effective fire suppression with large consequences for fire-associated biodiversity. Recently, prescribed burns have been introduced as a conservation action that aims to promote biodiversity. Not only fire regimes but also wildlife densities have been heavily impacted by human activities. Forest fires can result in pervasive changes with early successional forest stages, large amounts of deciduous trees, and newly formed deadwood, habitats which are largely missing in the managed boreal landscape. In this thesis, I evaluate decadal post-burn effects on community composition of wood-inhabiting polypores, beetles, bird and mammal species, vegetation differences, and moose browsing levels. I compare three unusually large wildfires in northernmost Sweden with nearby unburnt forests and five prescribed burns. I found differences in community composition among all taxa a decade after burning and a distinct turnover of beetles the years immediately postburn. No wildlife species had higher visitation frequency in the wildfire areas, suggesting that burnt areas did not necessarily add much habitat in a landscape already dominated by early successional forest stages. Unburnt forests were also important for red-listed polypores, reindeer, and western capercaillie. However, wildfire, in contrast to prescribed burning, did provide large amounts of deadwood and rich field layer vegetation impacting biodiversity and functional trait composition of beetles and polypores and changing moose forage availability and browsing levels. Thus, for prescribed burning to mimic wildfire and better emulate wildfire impacts of biodiversity, I emphasise the importance of higher tree mortality.

Authors/Creators:Fredriksson, Emelie
Title:Decadal effects of forest fire on biodiversity and browsing : a comparison between wildfire and prescribed burning
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2021
Number of Pages:61
Publisher:Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-7760-841-7
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-7760-842-4
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Article category:Other scientific
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Boreal forest, Coleoptera, community composition, disturbance regime, functional groups, indicator species, turnover, traits
Permanent URL:
ID Code:26120
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:17 Nov 2021 12:48
Metadata Last Modified:17 Nov 2021 12:53

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