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Historical fire suppression and subsequent increases in fuel loading have led to more frequent and damaging forest fires across North America. This has prompted much research into how changing disturbance regimes affect forests and how to manage fires appropriately and in a more natural way. Parks Canada is interested in how disturbance regimes have shifted, how these shifts affect ecosystem function and what this means for management. More specifically, Parks Canada would like to determine that crown and surface fire hazard of different aged stands in the Interior cedar-hemlock (ICH) forests in and around the Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks in BC. Furthermore, they would like to expand their understanding of successional trajectories in ICH forests following natural and human disturbances in order to predict what types of forests will result from such disturbances. The intern will perform field research to determine the surfaces and crown fire hazards in ICH forests of different ages and stand-initiating disturbances. Vegetation, both understory and overstory, will be quantified in response to forest age and disturbance type. The results from this study will contribute to our understanding of disturbance regimes in the ICH zone and will help to inform future forest management decisions, particularly those associated with fuel management and ecosystem protection.
Dr. Michael Feller
University of British Columbia
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