Summary: © 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd www.blackwellpublishing.com/geb DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-822x.2005.00157.x 307
Global Ecology and Biogeography, (Global Ecol. Biogeogr.) (2005) 14, 307313
Blackwell Publishing, Ltd.
Late Holocene opening of the
forest tundra landscape in northern
Hugo Asselin* and Serge Payette
Aim Previous studies conducted at the tree line in northwestern Québec suggested
that the forest tundra was created over the last 3000 years by deforestation as a result
of the combined action of forest fires and climatic cooling. Our objectives were to:
(1) validate at a larger spatial scale the time frame of the last 3000 years; (2) verify if
the opening process was more pronounced during particular time periods; and
(3) confirm that fire was the triggering mechanism.
Location Seventeen lakes from the forest tundra of northern Québec.
Methods Pollen records were analysed to determine the date of landscape opening,
as interpreted by the time of decrease towards present-day values of the ratio of Picea
pollen percentage to pollen percentage of the taxa typical of open forest tundra