Marianne Vogel, Hugo Asselin, Sébastien Joannin, Yves Bergeron, Sabrina Leclercq, Cécile Latapy, Adam Ali. Early afforestation on islands of proglacial Lake Ojibway as evidence of post-glacial migration outposts. 2023. Holocene Online first
DOI : 10.1177/09596836231169988
At the end of the last glacial period in the northern hemisphere, meltwater from receding ice sheets accumulated into large proglacial lakes, potentially limiting postglacial afforestation. We explored whether former islands of proglacial Lake Ojibway (Canada) (hilltops in the current landscape) could have acted as migration outposts and thus accelerated the postglacial migration. We extracted sediments from two small lakes located on “paleo-islands” and used XRF to detect changes in soil erosion and vegetation biomass. We also used plant macro-remains and wood charcoal to determine if (and which) tree species colonized the sites and to detect local fire events. Organic sediment accumulation started around 9657 and 9947 cal. yr BP at Lakes Perché and Despériers, respectively, before the level of Lake Ojibway started to decrease and liberate parts of the studied landscape ca 9400 cal. yr BP. Lithogenic elements (Ti, K, Sr, Fe, Zr, and Rb) decreased between the beginning of organic sediment accumulation and 8800–8700 cal. yr BP, indicating reduced soil erosion, possibly due to soil stabilization by vegetation. Then, the S/Ti ratio, a proxy of organic matter increased around 8800 and 8400 cal. yr BP. The earliest tree macro-remains (Larix laricina and Pinus spp.) were found between 9850 and 9500 cal. yr BP. Local fires were detected around 9820 and 8362 cal. yr BP. Early afforestation occurred on the islands of Lake Ojibway, 200 and 450 years before its level started to decrease, confirming that some islands acted as migratory outposts accelerating postglacial migration.
Dorian Gaboriau, Emeline Chaste, Martin-Philippe Girardin, Hugo Asselin, Adam Ali, Yves Bergeron, Christelle Hely-Alleaume. Interactions within the climate-vegetation-fire nexus may transform 21st century boreal forests in northwestern Canada. 2023. iScience 26:106807
DOI : 10.1016/j.isci.2023.106807
Dry and warm conditions have exacerbated the occurrence of large and severe wildfires over the past decade in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NT). While temperatures are expected to increase during the 21st century, we lack understanding of how the climate-vegetation-fire nexus might respond. We used a dynamic global vegetation model to project annual burn rates, as well as tree species composition and biomass in the NT during the 21st century using the IPCC’s climate scenarios. Burn rates will decrease in most of the NT by the mid-21st century, concomitant with biomass loss of fire-prone evergreen needleleaf tree species, and biomass increase of broadleaf tree species. The southeastern NT is projected to experience enhanced fire activity by the late 21st century according to scenario RCP4.5, supported by a higher production of flammable evergreen needleleaf biomass. The results underlie the potential for major impacts of climate change on the NT’s terrestrial ecosystems.
Cécile Remy, Gwenaël Magne, Normunds Stivrins, Tuomas Aakala, Hugo Asselin, Heikki Seppä, Tomi Luoto, Nauris Jasiunas, Adam Ali. Climatic and vegetational controls of Holocene wildfire regimes in the boreal forest of northern Fennoscandia. 2023. Journal of Ecology 111(4):845-860
DOI : 10.1111/1365-2745.14065
Abstract Climate change is expected to increase wildfire activity in boreal ecosystems, thus threatening the carbon stocks of these forests, which are currently the largest terrestrial carbon sink in the world. Describing the ecological processes involved in fire regimes in terms of frequency, size, type (surface vs. crown) and severity (biomass burned) would allow better anticipation of the impact of climate change on these forests. In Fennoscandia, this objective is currently difficult to achieve due to the lack of knowledge of long-term (centuries to millennia) relationships between climate, fire and vegetation. We investigated the causes and consequences of changes in fire regimes during the Holocene (last ~11,000 years) on vegetation trajectories in the boreal forest of northern Finland. We reconstructed fire histories from sedimentary charcoal at three sites, as well as vegetation dynamics from pollen, moisture changes from Sphagnum spore abundance at two sites, and complemented these analyses with published regional chironomid-inferred July temperature reconstructions. Low-frequency, large fires were recorded during the warm and dry mid-Holocene period (8500–4500 cal. year BP), whereas high-frequency, small fires were more characteristic of the cool and wet Neoglacial period (4500 cal. year BP onward). A higher proportion of charcoal particles with a woody aspect—characterizing crown fires—was recorded at one of the two sites at times of significant climatic and vegetational changes, when the abundance of Picea abies was higher. Synthesis. Our results show both a direct and an indirect effect of climate on fire regimes in northern Fennoscandia. Warm and dry periods are conducive to large surface fires, whereas cool and moist periods are associated with small fires, either crown or surface. Climate-induced shifts in forest composition also affect fire regimes. Climatic instability can alter vegetation composition and structure and lead to fuel accumulation favouring stand-replacing crown fires. Considering the ongoing climate warming and the projected increase in extreme climatic events, Fennoscandian forests could experience a return to a regime of large surface fires, but stand-replacing crown fires will likely remain a key ecosystem process in areas affected by climatic and/or vegetational instability.
Nina Ryzhkova, Alexander Kryshen, Mats Niklasson, Guilherme Pinto, A. Aleinikov, I. Kutyavin, Yves Bergeron, Adam Ali, Igor Drobyshev. Climate drove the fire cycle and humans influenced fire
occurrence in the East European boreal forest. 2022. Ecological Monographs 92(4): e1530
DOI : 10.1002/ecm.1530
Understanding long-term forest fire histories of boreal landscapes is instrumental for parameterizing climate–fire interactions and the role of humans affecting natural fire regimes. The eastern sections of the European boreal zone currently lack a network of annually resolved and centuries-long forest fire histories. To fill in this knowledge gap, we dendrochronologically reconstructed the 600-year fire history of a middle boreal pine-dominated landscape of the southern part of the Republic of Komi, Russia. We combined the reconstruction of fire cycle (FC) and fire occurrence with the data on the village establishment and climate proxies and discussed the relative contribution of climate versus human land use in shaping historic fire regimes. Over the 1340–1610 ce period, the territory had a FC of 66 years (with the 90% confidence envelope of 56.8 and 78.6 years). Fire activity increased during the 1620–1730 ce period, with the FC reaching 32 years (31.0–34.7 years). Between 1740–1950, the FC increased to 47 years (41.9–52.0). The most recent period, 1960–2010, marks FC's historic maximum, with the mean of 153 years (102.5–270.3). Establishment of the villages, often as small harbors on the Pechora River, was associated with a non-significant increase in fire occurrence in the sites nearest the villages (p = 0.07–0.20). We, however, observed a temporal association between village establishment and fire occurrence at the scale of the whole studied landscape. There was no positive association between the former and the FC. In fact, we documented a decline in the area burned, following the wave of village establishment during the second half of the 1600s and the first half of the 1700s. The lack of association between the dynamics of FC and the dates of village establishments, and the significant association between large fire years and the early and latewood pine chronologies, used as historic drought proxy, indirectly suggests that the climate was the primary control of the landscape-level FCs in the studied forests. Pine-dominated forests of the Komi Republic may hold a unique position as the ecosystem with the shortest history of human-related shifts in fire cycles across the European boreal region.
Dorian Gaboriau, Adam Ali, Christelle Hely-Alleaume, Hugo Asselin, Martin-Philippe Girardin. Drivers of extreme wildfire years in the 1965–2019 fire regime of the Tłı̨chǫ First Nation territory, Canada 2022. Ecoscience 29(3):249-265
DOI : 10.1080/11956860.2022.2070342
Exceptionally large areas burned in 2014 in central Northwest Territories (Canada), leading members of the Tłı̨chǫ First Nation to characterize this year as ‘extreme’. Top-down climatic and bottom-up environmental drivers of fire behavior and areas burned in the boreal forest are relatively well understood, but not the drivers of extreme wildfire years (EWY). We investigated the temporal and spatial distributions of fire regime components (fire occurrence, size, cause, fire season length) on the Tłı̨chǫ territory from 1965 to 2019. We used BioSIM and data from weather stations to interpolate mean weather conditions, fuel moisture content and fire-weather indices for each fire season, and we described the environmental characteristics of burned areas. We identified and characterized EWY, i.e., years exceeding the 80th percentile of annual area burned for the study period. Temperature and fuel moisture were the main drivers of areas burned. Nine EWY occurred from 1965 to 2019, including 2014. Compared to non-EWY, EWY had significantly higher mean temperature (>14.7°C) and exceeded threshold values of Drought Code (>514), Initial Spread Index (>7), and Fire Weather Index (>19). Our results will help limit the effects of EWY on human safety, health and Indigenous livelihoods and lifestyles.
Sandy P. Harrison, Roberto Villegas-Diaz, Esmeralda Cruz-Silva, Daniel Gallagher, David Kesner, Paul Lincoln, Yicheng Shen, Luke Sweeney, Daniele Colombaroli, Adam Ali, Chéïma Barhoumi , Yves Bergeron, Tatiana Blyakharchuk, Přemysl Bobek, R.H.W. Bradshaw, Jennifer L. Clear, Sambor Czerwiński, Anne-Laure Daniau, John Dodson, Kevin J. Edwards, M.E. Edwards, A. Feurdean, D. Foster, K. Gajewski, M. Gałka, Michelle Garneau, T. Giesecke, G. Gil Romera, Martin-Philippe Girardin, D. Hoefer, K. Huang, J. Inoue, E. Jamrichová, N. Jasiunas, W. Jiang, G. Jiménez-Moreno, M. Karpińska-Kołaczek, P. Kołaczek, N. Kuosmanen, Mariusz Lamentowicz, Martin Lavoie, F. Li, J. Li, O. Lisitsyna, J.A. López-Sáez, R. Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger, Gabriel Magnan, E.K. Magyari, A. Maksims, K. Marcisz, E. Marinova, J. Marlon, S. Mensing, J. Miroslaw-Grabowska, W. Oswald, S. Pérez-Dı́az, R. Pérez-Obiol, S. Piilo, A. Poska, X. Qin, Cécile Remy, Pierre J.H. Richard, S. Salonen, N. Sasaki, H. Schneider, W. Shotyk, M. Stancikaite, D. Šteinberga, N. Stivrins, H. Takahara, Z. Tan, L. Trasune, C.E. Umbanhowar, M. Väliranta, J. Vassiljev, X. Xiao, Q. Xu, X. Xu, E. Zawisza, Y. Zhao, Z. Zhou, Jordan Paillard. The Reading Palaeofire Database: an expanded global resource to document changes in fire regimes from sedimentary charcoal records. 2022. Earth Syst. Sci. Data 14:1109-1124
DOI : 10.5194/essd-14-1109-2022
Sedimentary charcoal records are widely used to reconstruct regional changes in fire regimes through time in the geological past. Existing global compilations are not geographically comprehensive and do not provide consistent metadata for all sites. Furthermore, the age models provided for these records are not harmonised and many are based on older calibrations of the radiocarbon ages. These issues limit the use of existing compilations for research into past fire regimes. Here, we present an expanded database of charcoal records, accompanied by new age models based on recalibration of radiocarbon ages using IntCal20 and Bayesian age-modelling software. We document the structure and contents of the database, the construction of the age models, and the quality control measures applied. We also record the expansion of geographical coverage relative to previous charcoal compilations and the expansion of metadata that can be used to inform analyses. This first version of the Reading Palaeofire Database contains 1676 records (entities) from 1480 sites worldwide. The database (RPDv1b – Harrison et al., 2021) is available at https://doi.org/10.17864/1947.000345.
Chéïma Barhoumi , Adam Ali, O Peyron , L Dugergil , O Borisova , G Subetto , Alexander Kryshen, Igor Drobyshev, Nina Ryzhkova. Did long-term fire control the coniferous boreal forest composition of northern Ural region 2020. J. of Biogeography 47(11):2426-2441
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13922
Dorian Gaboriau, Yves Bergeron, Cécile Remy, Adam Ali, Christelle Hely-Alleaume, Martin-Philippe Girardin, Hugo Asselin. Temperature and fuel availability control fire size/severity in the
boreal forest of central Northwest Territories, Canada. 2020. Quaternary Science Review 250:106697
DOI : 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106697
The north-central Canadian boreal forest experienced increased occurrence of large and severe wildfires caused by unusually warm temperatures and drought events during the last decade. It is, however, difficult to assess the exceptional nature of this recent wildfire activity, as few long-term records are available in the area. We analyzed macroscopic sedimentary charcoal from four lakes and pollen grains from one of those lakes to reconstruct long-term fire regimes and vegetation histories in the boreal forest of central Northwest Territories. We used regional estimates of past temperature and hydrological changes to identify the climatic drivers of fire activity over the past 10,000 years. Fires were larger and more severe during warm periods (before ca. 5000 cal yrs. BP and during the last 500 years) and when the forest landscape was characterized by high fuel abundance, especially fire-prone spruce. In contrast, colder conditions combined with landscape opening (i.e., lower fuel abundance) during the Neoglacial (after ca. 5000 cal yrs. BP) were related with a decline in fire size and severity. Fire size and severity increased during the last five centuries, but remained within the Holocene range of variability. According to climatic projections, fire size and severity will likely continue to increase in central Northwest Territories in response to warmer conditions, but precipitation variability, combined with increased abundance of deciduous species or opening of the landscape, could limit fire risk in the future.
Gwenaël Magne, Benoit Brossier, Emmanuel Gandouin, Laure Paradis, Alexander Kryshen, Samuel Alleaume, Adam Ali, Igor Drobyshev, Christelle Hely-Alleaume. Lacustrine charcoal peaks provide an accurate record of surface wildfires in a North European boreal forest. 2020. Holocene 30(3):380-388
DOI : 10.1177/0959683619887420
We evaluated the skills of different palaeofire reconstruction techniques to reconstruct the fire history of a boreal landscape (Russian Karelia) affected by surface fires. The analysis of dated lacustrine sediments from two nearby lakes was compared with independent dendrochronological dating of fire scars, methods which have rarely been used in context of surface fires. We used two sediment sub-sampling volumes (1 and 3.5 cm3, wet volumes) and three methods of calculating the Charcoal Accumulation Rate to reconstruct fire histories: CHAR number, charcoal surface area and estimated charcoal volume. The results show that palaeofire reconstructions obtained with fossil charcoal data from lake sediments and dendrochronology are similar and complementary. Dendrochronological reconstruction of fire scars established 12 fire dates over the past 500 years, and paleo-data from lake sediments identified between 7 and 13 fire events. Several ‘false fire events’ were also recorded in the charcoal chronologies, likely because of errors associated with the estimation of the sediment accumulation rate in the unconsolidated part of the sediment. The number of replicates, that is, number of sub-samples and lakes analyzed, had an effect on the number of identified fire events, whereas no effect was seen in the variation in the analyzed sediment volume or the choice of the charcoal-based metric. Whenever possible, we suggest the use of the dendrochronological data as an independent control for the calibration of charcoal peak series, which helps provide more realistic millennia-long reconstruction of past fire activity. We also argue for the use of 1 cm3 sample volume, a sampling protocol involving sampling of more than one lake, and sufficient number of intra-sample replicates to achieve skilful reconstructions of past fire activity.
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Emeline Chaste, Yves Bergeron, Olivier Blarquez, Cécile Remy, Martin-Philippe Girardin, Adam Ali, Christelle Hely-Alleaume. A Holocene Perspective of Vegetation Controls on Seasonal Boreal Wildfire Sizes Using Numerical Paleo-Ecology. 2020. Frontiers in ecology and the environment 3:106
DOI : 10.3389/ffgc.2020.511901
Wildland fire is the most important disturbance in the boreal forests of eastern North America, shaping the floral composition, structure and spatial arrangement. Although the long-term evolution of the frequency and quantity of burned biomass in these forests can be estimated from paleo-ecological studies, we know little about the evolution of fire sizes. We have therefore developed a methodological approach that provides insights into the processes and changes involved over time in the historical fire-vegetation-climate environment of the coniferous forests (CF) and mixedwood forests (MF) of eastern boreal North America, paying particular attention to the metric of fire size. Lacustrine charcoal particles sequestered in sediments from MF and CF regions were analyzed to reconstruct changes in estimated burned biomass, fire frequency, and their ratio interpreted as fire size (FS-index), over the last 7,000 years. A fire propagation model was used to simulate past fire sizes using both a reference landscape, where MF and CF compositions over time were prescribed using pollen reconstructions, and climate inputs provided by the HadCM3BL-M1 snapshot simulations. Lacustrine charcoals showed that Holocene FS-indices did not differ significantly between MF and CF because of the high variability in fire frequencies. However, the estimated burned biomass from MF was always lower than that from CF, significantly so since 5,000 BP. Beyond the variability, the FS-index was lower in MF than CF throughout the Holocene, with slight changes in both forests from 7,000 to 1,000 BP, and simultaneous increases over the last millennium. The fire model showed that MF fires were consistently smaller than CF fires throughout the Holocene, with larger differences in the past than today. The fire model also highlighted the fact that spring fires in both forest types have always been larger than summer fires over the last 7,000 years, which concurs with present-day fire statistics. This study illustrates how fire models, built and used today for forecasting and firefighting, can also be used to enhance our understanding of past conditions within the fire-vegetation-climate nexus.
Marianne Vogel, Sébastien Joannin, Adam Ali, Yves Bergeron, Edith Leclerc, Cécile Latapy, Hugo Asselin. Les premières étapes de la végétation d’anciennes îles du lac Ojibway (Abitibi, Québec) au début de l’Holocène 16e colloque annuel du CEF, Université de Montréal (2023-05-08)
Marianne Vogel, Adam Ali, Hugo Asselin, Sabrina Leclercq, Cécile Latapy, Sébastien Joannin, Yves Bergeron. Histoire des paléo-îles du lac proglaciaire Ojibway
premières étapes de la végétation 24e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. (2022-11-22)
Adam Ali Les feux dans les écosystèmes boréaux : causes et conséquences Midi-foresterie (2021-10-26)
Marianne Vogel, Hugo Asselin, Adam Ali, Yves Bergeron, Sébastien Joannin. L'histoire des paléo-îles du lac proglaciaire Ojibway (Abitibi) 21e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. (2019-11-30)
Bi-Tchoko Vincent Evrard Kouadio, Yves Bergeron, Olivier Blarquez, Christelle Hely-Alleaume, Adam Ali. Affiche 9
Des outils pour caractériser les différents types de pessières afin de reconstruire et de comprendre leur dynamique à long terme au Canada. 20e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Lorrainville, Québec. (2018-11-30)
Samira Ouarmim, Hugo Asselin, Adam Ali, Christelle Hely-Alleaume, Yves Bergeron. 8000 ans d'histoire et très peu de feux en forêt boréale mixte 14e colloque de la Chaire AFD. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. (2012-11-29)
Adam Ali Feux et dynamiques post-glaciaires de Abies balsamea dans la forêt boréale coniférienne (Nord du Québec) : analyses à haute résolution de charbons de bois et de macrorestes végétaux. Feux et dynamiques post-glaciaires de Abies balsam (2006-02-28)