Next Article in Journal
Factors Associated with Structure Loss in the 2013–2018 California Wildfires
Previous Article in Journal
Severe Fire Danger Index: A Forecastable Metric to Inform Firefighter and Community Wildfire Risk Management
Article

Fire Exclusion Destroys Habitats for At-Risk Species in a British Columbia Protected Area

1
School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Rd., Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
2
Hakai Institute, P.O. Box 309, Heriot Bay, BC V0P 1H0, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 July 2019 / Revised: 19 August 2019 / Accepted: 20 August 2019 / Published: 29 August 2019
Fire exclusion and suppression has altered the composition and structure of Garry oak and associated ecosystems in British Columbia. The absence of frequent low severity ground fires has been one of the main contributors to dense patches of non-native grasses, shrubs, and encroaching Douglas-fir trees in historical Garry oak dominated meadows. This case study uses remote sensing and dendrochronology to reconstruct the stand dynamics and long-term fire history of a Garry oak meadow situated within Helliwell Provincial Park located on Hornby Island, British Columbia. The Garry oak habitat in Helliwell Park has decreased by 50% since 1950 due to conifer encroachment. Lower densities and mortalities of Garry oak trees were associated with the presence of overstory Douglas-fir trees. To slow conifer encroachment into the remaining Garry oak meadows, we recommend that mechanical thinning of Douglas-fir be followed by a prescribed burning program. Reintroducing fire to Garry oak ecosystems can restore and maintain populations of plants, mammals, and insects that rely on these fire resilient habitats. View Full-Text
Keywords: British Columbia; conifer encroachment; ecosystem restoration; fire exclusion; Garry oak ecosystems; species at risk; parks and protected areas British Columbia; conifer encroachment; ecosystem restoration; fire exclusion; Garry oak ecosystems; species at risk; parks and protected areas
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Hoffman, K.M.; Wickham, S.B.; McInnes, W.S.; Starzomski, B.M. Fire Exclusion Destroys Habitats for At-Risk Species in a British Columbia Protected Area. Fire 2019, 2, 48. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2030048

AMA Style

Hoffman KM, Wickham SB, McInnes WS, Starzomski BM. Fire Exclusion Destroys Habitats for At-Risk Species in a British Columbia Protected Area. Fire. 2019; 2(3):48. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2030048

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hoffman, Kira M., Sara B. Wickham, William S. McInnes, and Brian M. Starzomski 2019. "Fire Exclusion Destroys Habitats for At-Risk Species in a British Columbia Protected Area" Fire 2, no. 3: 48. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2030048

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop