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Fire history correlations to forest type and topography in northern Sweden

OLA ENGELMARK
Annales Botanici Fennici
Vol. 24, No. 4 (1987), pp. 317-324
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23725752
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Fire history correlations to forest type and topography in northern Sweden
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Abstract

The relationshops of fire history to forest type and topography were examined on 75 sample plots in Muddus National Park (50 000 ha; northern Sweden). A correlation matrix was constructed for 13 variables. During the last 600 years, most fires appear to have occurred on steep slopes, on continuous uplands and at low altitudes. These areas are at present dominated by Pinus sylvestris, dwarf-shrubs (e.g. Empetrum hermaphroditum) and lichens (e.g. Cladonia spp.). Mires have functioned as fire-breaks, resulting in Picea abies forests (with Vaccinium myrtillus and Gymnocarpium dryopteris) in which traces of fire are absent or extremely rare. Fire frequency was not correlated to aspect. Repeated surface fires seem to have promoted the longevity of Pinus sylvestris (>700 years old), and to have maintained the lichen-dominated forest type.

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