Floristic structure, composition and depth of edge influence at buffer and wildfire edges along small boreal streams
Braithwaite , Nicholas T.
Master of Science
SubjectBuffer zones (Ecosystem management)
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Within the boreal forest of northwestern Ontario clearcutting and fire are the most common edge-creating disturbances. Along streams, wild fire consumes the majority of trees to the edge of riparian zones. However, forest management relies on the retention of 30 to 70 m treed buffer reserves beside streams following harvesting. Fundamental knowledge regarding how buffer and fire edges compare near shoreline forests is lacking. The development of sustainable forest management strategies that emulate natural disturbances relies upon such information. The objective of this thesis was to examine and compare the edge influences on overstory structure, near ground microclimate and understory species composition at buffer and wild fire edges adjacent to small streams in northwestern Ontario.