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    Kirsten Reid

    MSc Integrative Biology, Department of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University (Supervisor: Dr. Jennifer Baltzer)

    Thesis: Effects of wildfires on tree establishment in conifer-dominated boreal forests in the Northwest Territories

    In 2014, 3.4 million hectares of boreal forest was burnt by wildfires in the Northwest Territories, making it the largest fire season in the NWT’s recorded history. Natural fire is the dominant mode of disturbance in the boreal and many coniferous species rely almost exclusively on fire for regeneration. Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of extreme fire years as well as the duration of the fire season and we know little about what this will mean for forests in the NWT.

    The 2014 fires present a unique opportunity to better understand the response of high latitude boreal forests to a changing fire regime and make predictions about how these systems will respond in the future. The goal of my research is to understand post-fire tree seedling establishment in the Northwest Territories and to examine the effect of this extreme fire year on forest succession in the NWT.


    Laurier Graduate Scholarship