Assessing the cumulative impact of wildland fires and seismic line disturbance on peatlands in northern Alberta

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Enayetullah, Humaira
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography and Environment
This thesis examined the impact of wildland fires and seismic line fragmentation on peatlands in northern Alberta. The objectives were to determine if wildland fires alter regeneration trajectories of conifer vs deciduous species and lead towards the regeneration of woody vegetation adjacent to seismic lines. Multi-spectral lidar data were collected for a boreal peatland chronosequence of 5, 18, 30, and 38 years since fire (YSF) and were compared with areas that had not burned to quantify changes in the post-fire distribution of shrubs and trees. The results illustrated that there was high shrub regeneration in peatlands up to and including 38 YSF and trees tended to grow above shrubs by 18 YSF. Wildland fires promoted woody vegetation regeneration adjacent to seismic lines with taller deciduous trees and conifers found in mature post-fire peatlands (30 to 38 YSF). However, fens were more vulnerable to seismic line fragmentation and had less post-fire regeneration compared to bogs.
Dissertations, Academic , Climatic changes -- Alberta , Fragmented landscapes , Peatland ecology -- Alberta , Peatland forestry -- Alberta , Peatlands -- Alberta , Wildfires -- Alberta