Biomass and chemical composition in six dominant field and bottom layer species have been recorded for 5 years after a wildfire in a coastal pine forest in Sveio, West Norway, in June 1992. As a follow-up of this study, the percentage coverage of field and bottom layer species and the regeneration of main tree species (Pinus sylvestris, Betula pubescens, and Salix spp.) were recorded in 1997, 2001, and 2008. Preliminary results indicate that the three dominant field layer species, Calluna vulgaris, Molinia caerulea, and Pteridium aquilinum, had expanded at the expense of other species, in particular Vaccinium myrtillus, V. vitis-idaea, Deschampsia flexuosa, and pioneer moss species, for example, Polytrichum spp. Seedlings of pine and saplings of birch and other deciduous species had established in the burned areas, and the succession of these species was followed and compared with nearby control plots. The strong growth of Calluna vulgaris after the fire indicates that periodic controlled burning may be an alternative management method of balancing carbon uptake rates in coastal areas of western Norway.
Part of the book: Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences