Tree species identity in high-latitude forests determines fire spread through fuel ladders from branches to soil and vice versa

Peat fires in boreal and tundra regions can potentially cause a high CO2 release, because of their large soil carbon stocks. Under current and future climate warming the frequency and intensity of droughts are increasing and will cause the plant community and organic soil to become more susceptible to fire. The organic soil consumption by fire is commonly used as a proxy for fire severity and is a large source of carbon release. However, the role of organic soils in both above- and belowground fire behavior has only rarely been studied. In this study we collected soil and branches from Betula pubescens, Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies/obovata from the taiga/tundra ecotone across a large spatial scale.

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