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Forests 2017, 8(3), 76; doi:10.3390/f8030076

Effects of Burn Severity and Environmental Conditions on Post-Fire Regeneration in Siberian Larch Forest

1
Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N5C8, Canada
2
Department of Forest Inventory and Planning, Vietnam Forestry University, Chuong My, Ha Noi 100000, Vietnam
3
Department of Agro-Environmental Science, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido 080-0834, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sean P. Healey and Warren B. Cohen
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 1 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 11 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Forest Disturbance)
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Abstract

Post-fire forest regeneration is strongly influenced by abiotic and biotic heterogeneity in the pre- and post-fire environments, including fire regimes, species characteristics, landforms, hydrology, regional climate, and soil properties. Assessing these drivers is key to understanding the long-term effects of fire disturbances on forest succession. We evaluated multiple factors influencing patterns of variability in a post-fire boreal Larch (Larix sibirica) forest in Siberia. A time-series of remote sensing images was analyzed to estimate post-fire recovery as a response variable across the burned area in 1996. Our results suggested that burn severity and water content were primary controllers of both Larch forest recruitment and green vegetation cover as defined by the forest recovery index (FRI) and the fractional vegetation cover (FVC), respectively. We found a high rate of Larch forest recruitment in sites of moderate burn severity, while a more severe burn was the preferable condition for quick occupation by vegetation that included early seral communities of shrubs, grasses, conifers and broadleaf trees. Sites close to water and that received higher solar energy during the summer months showed a higher rate of both recovery types, defined by the FRI and FVC, dependent on burn severity. In addition to these factors, topographic variables and pre-fire condition were important predictors of post-fire forest patterns. These results have direct implications for the post-fire forest management in the Siberian boreal Larch region. View Full-Text
Keywords: post-fire regeneration; forest recruitment; vegetation recovery; Larix sibirica; remote sensing; Siberia post-fire regeneration; forest recruitment; vegetation recovery; Larix sibirica; remote sensing; Siberia
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chu, T.; Guo, X.; Takeda, K. Effects of Burn Severity and Environmental Conditions on Post-Fire Regeneration in Siberian Larch Forest. Forests 2017, 8, 76.

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