Research Project Summary:
Black spruce experimental fires on lowland sites in Manitoba
Unless otherwise indicated, the information in this Research Project Summary comes from this paper:
Chrosciewicz, Z. 1976. Burning for black spruce regeneration on a lowland cutover site in southeastern Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 6(2): 179-186. .STUDY LOCATION:
Study sites are classified in the following plant community and probably historically experienced the fire regime described below:
|Fire regime information on the vegetation community studied in this Research Project Summary. Fire regime characteristics are taken from the LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment Vegetation Model . This vegetation model was developed by local experts using available literature, local data, and expert opinion as documented in the PDF file linked from the Potential Natural Vegetation Group listed below. Cells are blank where information is not available in the Rapid Assessment Vegetation Model.|
|Vegetation Community (Potential Natural Vegetation Group)||Fire severity*||Fire regime characteristics|
|Percent of fires||Mean interval
|Northeast spruce-fir forest||Replacement||100%||265||150||300|
Replacement=Any fire that causes greater than 75% top removal of a vegetation-fuel type, resulting in general replacement of existing vegetation; may or may not cause a lethal effect on the plants.
Mixed=Any fire burning more than 5% of an area that does not qualify as a replacement, surface, or low-severity fire; includes mosaic and other fires that are intermediate in effects.
Surface or low=Any fire that causes less than 25% upper layer replacement and/or removal in a vegetation-fuel class but burns 5% or more of the area [2,3].
The area was logged 2.5 years before the prescribed burns were conducted. The logging operation removed only merchantable timber, leaving 800 trees per acre (1,977/ha). Slash was 10 to 25 inches deep (25-64 cm) and covered 52% of the ground. Under the slash was a litter layer of fallen needles about 3 inches (8 cm) deep. Logging reduced feather moss cover from 88% to 41%, sphagnum moss cover from 12% to 6%, and shrub cover from 20% to 10%, but increased grass cover from 10% to 20%, and sedge cover from 10% to 30%.PLANT PHENOLOGY:
|Light-severity fire||Moderate-severity fire|
|Date||17 May 1976||29 May 1967|
|Cloud cover (%)||90||70|
|Air temperature (°F/C)||72/22||75/24|
|Relative humidity (%)||32||31|
|Wind speed (mph/kph)||9/14||9/14|
The average flame height for both fires was 3 feet (1 m) with occasional trees crowning up to 40 feet (12 m). In general fires destroyed slash, surface litter, and aerial parts of vegetation including feather mosses and some sphagnum mosses. Stumps and discarded logs were only partially consumed.
The moderate-severity fire occurred about 2 weeks later than the light-severity fire, when fuels were drier. Peat under exposed feather mosses was dry to a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm) on 17 May, and to a depth of 3 inches (8 cm) on 29 May. Although burning exposed 95% of the peat on both burns, fire burned deeper into peat on the moderate-severity burn. On the light-severity burn, average depth of burning was 3 (8 cm) inches on hummocks and 2 inches (5 cm) in depressions. On the moderate-severity burn, average depth of burning was 7 inches (18 cm) on hummocks and 4 inches (10 cm) in depressions.FIRE EFFECTS ON TARGET SPECIES:
1. Chrosciewicz, Z. 1976. Burning for black spruce regeneration on a lowland cutover site in southeastern Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 6(2): 179-186. 
2. Hann, Wendel; Havlina, Doug; Shlisky, Ayn; [and others]. 2008. Interagency fire regime condition class guidebook. Version 1.3, [Online]. In: Interagency fire regime condition class website. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service; U.S. Department of the Interior; The Nature Conservancy; Systems for Environmental Management (Producer). 119 p. Available: http://frames.nbii.gov/frcc/documents/FRCC_Guidebook_2008.07.10.pdf [2010, May 3]. 
3. LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment. 2005. Reference condition modeling manual (Version 2.1), [Online]. In: LANDFIRE. Cooperative Agreement 04-CA-11132543-189. Boulder, CO: The Nature Conservancy; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service; U.S. Department of the Interior (Producers). 72 p. Available: http://www.landfire.gov/downloadfile.php?file=RA_Modeling_Manual_v2_1.pdf [2007, May 24]. 
4. LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment. 2007. Rapid assessment reference condition models, [Online]. In: LANDFIRE. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Lab; U.S. Geological Survey; The Nature Conservancy (Producers). Available: http://www.landfire.gov/models_EW.php [2008, April 18] 
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