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Joel Bowman

Joel BowmanCoordinates

Office: SN 2005
Telephone: (709) 864-8998
Fax: (709) 864- 3119



Dr. Carissa Brown (Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland)


Dr. Trevor Bell (Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Dr. Colin Laroque (School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan)

Thesis Title (Working)

The Effects of Climate Change and Subsequent Shifts in disturbance Regime on Forest Regeneration in Labrador.

Research Description

In northern regions, climate change is creating novel environmental conditions, which are affecting many ecosystem processes. As the temperature rises and creates longer, hotter summers, forest fires activity is expected to increase.

Forests have adapted to the reality of forest fires and are generally able to regenerate between fire events. In other words, they reach reproductive maturity and begin to produce seeds which are able to survive fire events and colonize the burned stand. As forest fires increase however, trees are not able to reach reproductive maturity before the next fire event, limiting the success of the following generation.

This project seeks to compare historic and recent fire disturbance patterns across southern Labrador in an attempt to understand how climate change is affecting fire-disturbed black spruce forests in the region. Fires leave a visible scar in the tree ring record, which can be used to date the fire by counting the number of rings between the fire and the present year on individuals that survived the fire. Tree rings also allow us to analyse how a species responds after a fire. If we compare the growth and density the trees establishing after fire to those of the same species that were killed during the fire, we can determine how recent fire activity is affecting forest recruitment.

Research Interests

  • Biogeography
  • Dendrochronology
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Fire Ecology