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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 21(6)

Modelling the effects of surface and crown fire behaviour on serotinous cone opening in jack pine and lodgepole pine forests

M. E. Alexander A C and M. G. Cruz B

A University of Alberta, Department of Renewable Resources and Alberta School of Forest Science and Management, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H1, Canada.
B Bushfire Dynamics and Applications Team, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences and Climate Adaptation Flagship, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: mea2@telus.net

International Journal of Wildland Fire 21(6) 709-721 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF11153
Submitted: 25 October 2011  Accepted: 24 January 2012   Published: 5 July 2012


 
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Abstract

A methodology has been developed for defining the various threshold conditions required for the opening of serotinous cones and viable seed release in the overstorey canopies in jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) forests on the basis of fireline intensity and, in turn, rate of fire spread and fuel consumption. The extent of the effects to the overstorey canopy (i.e. crown scorch height and flame defoliation) and the type of fire (i.e. low- to high-intensity surface, intermittent crown and active crown) vary at any given fireline intensity level and are principally a function of foliar moisture content, canopy base height, stand height and canopy bulk density. The viability of the seed stored in serotinous cones of the two pine species begins to decreases once the flame-front residence time at the ground level of an active crown fire exceeds 50 s.

Additional keywords: convection column temperature, crown scorch height, fire ecology, fireline intensity, flame front residence time, fuel consumption, rate of fire spread, tree regeneration.


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