Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Vegetation dynamics on terrestrial lichen sites, 11-13 years following fire

Wednesday May 8, 2019  12:00pm-1:00pm

The Old Church - Smithers, BC

About this presentation

In 2014, the Chelaslie Arm fire burned over 130,000 ha of the Tweedsmuir-Entiako caribou (Rangifer tarandus) winter and migration range. The massive size of the fire and its impact on the Tweedsmuir-Entiako caribou winter and migration range has led to concerns about current and future habitat and forage supply. Long-term monitoring plots for assessing lichen/vegetation dynamics were previously established on the Tweedsmuir-Entiako caribou winter and migration range in two other recent fires (2004 Blanchet fire, 2006 Van Tine fire). For this project, we revisited the Blanchet and Van Tine fire plots in 2017 and re-measured terrestrial lichen abundance, competing vegetation abundance, stand structure, regeneration and coarse woody debris, to assess the response of vegetation 11-13 years post-fire.

About Deb Cichowski & Sybille Haeussler

Deb Cichowski, MSc, RPBio, RPF is a wildlife ecologist based in Smithers and has worked on caribou research, inventory, management, and planning projects since 1985. From 1991 to 1999, she worked as a Resource Officer for BC Parks and is currently the sole proprietor of Caribou Ecological Consulting. Since 2001, Deb has worked on a number of long-term monitoring projects assessing the effects of mountain pine beetles, forest harvesting and fire on caribou terrestrial forage lichens.

Sybille Haeussler PhD, RPF is a forest ecologist based in Smithers since 1979.  She has a small consulting firm (Skeena Forestry Consultants), is an associate researcher with BVRC, and an adjunct professor at UNBC. One of Sybille's areas of interest is in monitoring vegetation change following forest disturbances. Since 2006 she has assisted Deb with the analysis of vegetation data on her study plots monitoring change in caribou forage lichens following mountain pine beetle attack and wildfire.