Inter-relations between climate change; Fire frequency and forest composition
Dr. Larsenís research examines how recent climate and past climate changes have resulted in changes in fire frequency in the boreal and montane forests of Alberta. In the past, cool and dry climates facilitated a high frequency of fires that became reduced as temperature and precipitation increased. Fire control has reduced fire frequency beyond what is expected due to recent climatic change, and this should result in a change in forest composition towards longer-lived tree species. More recent research is being conducted to evaluate if species growth- and mortality-rates are consistent with predictions based on an equilibrial 2XCO2 environment.