Testing for Evidence of Mixed-Severity Fire Regimes in the Rocky Mountain Foothills of Alberta
The proposed research is a collaboration between the Tree-Ring Lab at the University of British Columbia, Hinton Wood Products and the Foothills Research Institute Natural Disturbance Program to investigate the fire regimes of the mixed-conifer, mountain forests of the Rocky Mountain foothills of west-central Alberta. This pilot study will study the spatial and temporal variation of historical fires and reconstruct their impacts on forest structure and dynamics. We hypothesize fire regimes in the area of study are complex, including low- to moderate- severity fires intermixed with highseverity fires. As mixed-severity fire regimes are poorly understood in western Canada, the outcomes of this research have both fundamental and applied value. With improved knowledge of historical fire severities, decision-making will be enhanced and managers will be empowered to use scientifically-based, sustainable forest management practices. Specifically, if historical fire regimes included fires of mixed-severity, then a greater variety of harvesting and silvicultural systems may be applied within the Hinton Wood Products Forest Management Area.This project is in partnership with GEOIDE.