Object & Deliverables
The project was designed to quantify the influence of fire on soil temperature and nutrient levels, and subsequent implication to deciduous regenerations (specifically to trembling aspen and balsam poplar). The area used for the study was in the Slave Lake region. Six plots were established in a six year old harvested cutblock following a prescribed burn. The prescribed burn was performed in October of 2000 and plots were measured in 2001 and 2003.
Results indicate that the density of trembling aspen and balsam poplar did not significantly increase after the prescribed burn. Calamagrostis canadensis however responded positively to prescribed fire. The authors speculate that the cause of poor regeneration levels after the burn are due to the age of the cutblock. If the block had been treated sooner after harvest, the root resources may have been at a better level for regeneration. Additionally, the poor response from the populus and vigorous response from the Calamagrostis c. indicate that the prescribed burn was not intense enough nor did it burn deep enough to remove the thick thatch of Calamagrosis c. This finding is corroborated in the soil temperature data that showed no significant increase in the maximum temperature in either of the burned plots nor was there difference in the nutrient levels between the burned and unburned soil samples. The final report was entitled, “Effects of Fire on Soil and Regeneration” – Project WEYDV 02-76 FRIAA Final Report submitted by Wendy Crosini on June 15, 2004.