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ME

Marc Edwards

BEACONs Project, University of Alberta and Yukon College
Protected areas (PAs) in boreal regions should be resilient to regional disturbance regimes to avoid complete loss of habitat in the case of large disturbance events. Fire is an important disturbance in northern BC, and the BEACONs Project has used historical fire data to estimate minimum reserve sizes required to maintain vulnerable vegetation types in this region. We refer to these as minimum dynamic reserves (MDRs). MDRs are calculated using regional vegetation maps, estimates of the largest expected fire size, and a landscape simulation model. MDRs have two main applications in conservation planning assessments: 1) to evaluate whether existing PAs are resilient to natural disturbance regimes, and 2) to provid area targets for new PAs. We applied these concepts to test the resilience of the existing PAs network in northern BC to large fires.