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Journal of Ecology: Editor's choice

Cathrine Glosli

The Journal of Ecology has picked professor Mikael Ohlson and colleagues' recent article on Norway spruce and fire regimes as the "Editor's choice" for the 2011 March edition.

 Prof. Ohlson with coal samples.
Prof. Ohlson with coal samples. Photo: Haakon Sparre
In the column "Editor's choice", the editors of Journal of Ecology select and present some highlights of the latest issue. Typically they choose articles that challenge current paradigms, make significant contributions to ecological theory, and/or are of special interest for researchers and policy makes. This time, associate editor Frank Gilliam has chosen Ohlson and colleagues and their paper 'Invasion of Norway spruce diversifies the fire regime in boreal European forests'.

Ohlson et al. has found that the invasion of Norway spruce and the subsequent shift in dominance of tree species had a profound influence on the fire regime, which is quite a contrast to the wide-spread assumption that large-scale fire regimes are driven primarily by climate. Gilliam accentuates out that Ohlson and his co-authors "challenge commonly held notions", and that the "final conclusion goes a step beyond this climate-versus-vegetation debate by addressing broad-scale spatial heterogeneity".

In their article, Ohlson et al. combines paleoecological investigations with knowledge of the rate and direction of spruce expansion. By comparing charcoal and spruce pollen records, the authors were able to assess the influence of both climate and vegetation composition on fire regimes throughout the study area. These results have implications for a broader region of European boreal forest which encompasses oceanic and continental climates.

Want to read more?
- Editor's choice of the Journal of Ecology

- Full article:Invasion of Norway spruce diversifies the fire regime in boreal European forests

Updated: 04.03.11
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