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Selection: with tag wildfires [at least 200 articles] 

 

Sun in parts of UK and France blocked out the smoke from wildfires in Spain and Portugal

  
Severe Weather Europe, Vol. 2017 (2017), 111799

Abstract

[Excerpt] [...] Parts of Spain and Portugal are experiencing extreme fires, caused by a combination of a dry spring and summer and likely arson. The thick smoke was advected by southerly winds into the Bay of Biscay, northwestern France (Brittany) and across the United Kingdom. Residents of this area awoke to a dark orange and brown sky, with the Sun either completely blocked or strongly subdued. While smoke from fires being blown large distances is not rare, it is rare for ...

 

How much does weather control fire size and intensity in the Mediterranean region?

  
Annales Geophysicae, Vol. 33, No. 7. (30 July 2015), pp. 931-939, https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-33-931-2015

Abstract

This study investigates the synoptic conditions favorable to wildfires in the Mediterranean region, in terms of fire intensity and burnt area. As reported in the literature, Mediterranean large wildfires are associated with a blocking situation. However, this study shows the existence of two types of wildfires controlled by the blocking high intensity: (1) fast build-up of a weak blocking produces intense wildfires associated with strong winds which allow propagation over long distances; (2) longer build-up of strong blocking situation produces less ...

 

Size of wildfires in the Euro-Mediterranean region: observations and theoretical analysis

  
Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, Vol. 15, No. 6. (23 June 2015), pp. 1331-1341, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-15-1331-2015

Abstract

MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite observations of fire size and ERA-Interim meteorological reanalysis are used to derive a relationship between burnt area and wind speed over the Mediterranean region and Eastern Europe. The largest wildfire size does not show a strong response with respect to wind speed in Eastern Europe. In the Mediterranean, as intuitively expected, the burnt area associated with the largest wildfires is an increasing function of wind speed for moderate temperature anomalies. In situations of severe heatwaves, ...

 

Daily synoptic conditions associated with large fire occurrence in Mediterranean France: evidence for a wind-driven fire regime

  
International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 37, No. 1. (January 2017), pp. 524-533, https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.4680

Abstract

Changes in wildfire activity in the Mediterranean area over recent decades increase the need for a better understanding of the fire–weather relationships and for the development of reliable models to improve fire danger prediction. This study analyses daily synoptic and local weather conditions associated with the occurrence of summer large fires (LFs) in Mediterranean France during recent decades (1973–2013). The links between large fire occurrence and synoptic conditions are analysed with composites of sea level pressure and winds at 925 hPa ...

 

Prepare for larger, longer wildfires

  

Abstract

Climate change makes land management more urgent than ever, says Kathie Dello. [Excerpt] [...] Scientists must walk a careful line when attributing specific events to climate change. Wildfires are part of a healthy ecosystem and a fact of life in the western United States. Many aspects of a landscape affect them, including past fire suppression, land use and human carelessness. [\n] But climate change increases the threat: fires that do start are larger and last longer. Warmer summer temperatures mean more evaporation. Overall, ...

 

Polar wildfires and conifer serotiny during the Cretaceous global hothouse

  
Geology (11 October 2017), https://doi.org/10.1130/g39453.1

Abstract

Several highly effective fire-adaptive traits first evolved among modern plants during the mid-Cretaceous, in response to the widespread wildfires promoted by anomalously high atmospheric oxygen (O2) and extreme temperatures. Serotiny, or long-term canopy seed storage, is a fire-adaptive strategy common among plants living in fire-prone areas today, but evidence of this strategy has been lacking from the fossil record. Deposits of abundant fossil charcoal from sedimentary successions of the Chatham Islands, New Zealand, record wildfires in the south polar regions (75°–80°S) ...

 

Assessing risk and adaptation options to fires and windstorms in European forestry

  
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change In Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Vol. 15, No. 7. (10 July 2010), pp. 681-701, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-010-9243-0

Abstract

Risks can generally be described as the combination of hazard, exposure and vulnerability. Using this framework, we evaluated the historical and future development of risk of fire and wind damage in European forestry at the national level. Fire risk is expected to increase, mainly as a consequence of an increase in fire hazard, defined as the Fire Weather Index in summer. Exposure, defined as forest area, is expected to increase slightly as a consequence of active afforestation and abandonment of marginal ...

 

Forest fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa 2016

  

Abstract

[Excerpt: Foreword] Forests, agricultural land and natural areas continue to burn, both within and outside Europe. Lives of European citizens are lost and endangered. By early September 2017, wildfires have already burnt nearly 700 000 ha of land in the EU; hence this season will most likely be remembered as one of the most devastating wildfire seasons in Europe since records began. Moreover, sadly this year’s fires have taken a huge toll of lives in Southern Europe. Extreme weather conditions such ...

 

Large wildland fires and extreme temperatures in Sardinia (Italy)

  
iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Vol. 7, No. 3. (02 June 2014), pp. 162-169, https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1090-007

Abstract

Heat-wave events are commonly recognized as adverse impacts on agriculture, forests, and economic activities. Several studies showed that future climate changes in the western Mediterranean Basin will lead to an increase in extreme weather events, mainly in the summer season. For this reason, it is crucial to improve our knowledge and investigate the effects of extreme temperature events on wildland fire activity. This work analyses the relation between high temperature days (air temperature higher than 25°C at 850hPa) and large wildland ...

 

Forest fires

  
In EMEP/EEA air pollutant emission inventory guidebook 2016 - Technical guidance to prepare national emission inventories, Vol. 21/2016 (2016), 11.B, https://doi.org/10.2800/247535

Abstract

[Excerpt: Overview] This chapter describes emissions from (naturally or man-induced) burning of non-managed and managed forests and other vegetation, excluding agricultural burning of stubble, etc. This includes domestic fires (fuel wood-, crop residue-, dung and charcoal burning) as well as open vegetation fires (forest, shrub- , grass- and cropland burning). According to Barbosa (2006, personal communication), 95 % of the forest fires in the Mediterranean region are related to human impact (negligence, arson, etc.). For the boreal area, Molicone et al. (2006) estimate 87 % of forest ...

 

How have past fire disturbances contributed to the current carbon balance of boreal ecosystems?

  
Biogeosciences, Vol. 13, No. 3. (04 February 2016), pp. 675-690, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-675-2016

Abstract

Boreal fires have immediate effects on regional carbon budgets by emitting CO2 into the atmosphere at the time of burning, but they also have legacy effects by initiating a long-term carbon sink during post-fire vegetation recovery. Quantifying these different effects on the current-day pan-boreal (44–84° N) carbon balance and quantifying relative contributions of legacy sinks by past fires is important for understanding and predicting the carbon dynamics in this region. Here we used the global dynamic vegetation model ORCHIDEE–SPITFIRE (Organising Carbon and ...

 

Describing wildland surface fuel loading for fire management: a review of approaches, methods and systems

  
International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 22, No. 1. (2013), 51, https://doi.org/10.1071/wf11139

Abstract

Wildland fuelbeds are exceptionally complex, consisting of diverse particles of many sizes, types and shapes with abundances and properties that are highly variable in time and space. This complexity makes it difficult to accurately describe, classify, sample and map fuels for wildland fire research and management. As a result, many fire behaviour and effects software prediction systems use a generalised description of fuels to simplify data collection and entry into various computer programs. There are several major fuel description systems currently ...

 

A systematic conservation planning approach to fire risk management in Natura 2000 sites

  
Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 181 (October 2016), pp. 574-581, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.07.006

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] Systematic conservation planning for the management of biodiversity threats. [::] Wildfire prevention based on costs derived from fire probability. [::] Biodiversity values derived from policy habitats and species into Natura 2000 sites. [::] Map of 23 irreplaceable biodiversity areas where fire prevention is needed. [::] Fire management inside policy habitats designed to preserve the vegetation structure. [Abstract] A primary challenge in conservation biology is to preserve the most representative biodiversity while simultaneously optimizing the efforts associated with conservation. In Europe, the implementation of the Natura 2000 ...

 

Climatological risk: wildfires

  
In Science for disaster risk management 2017: knowing better and losing less, Vol. 28034 (2017), pp. 294-305

Abstract

[Excerpt: Conclusions and key messages] There is a vast amount of information on wildfires at local, regional and global scales. However, problems remain at different scales in terms of harmonising or standardising practices for the assessment and management of wildfire risk. [\n] Resilience theory is providing a suitable framework by which to explain abrupt changes in socioecological systems. The importance of community participation and building social capital through collective learning and governance mechanisms has been highlighted as a required basis for building disaster resilience (Aldunce et al., 2015; Aldunce et al., 2016; Montiel and Kraus, 2010; O’Brien et al., ...

References

  1. SCION, 2009. Fire behavioiur app. https://www.scionresearch.com/research/forest-science/rural-fire-research/tools/fire-behaviour-smartphone-apps .
  2. NFPA, 2016 Firewise Communities Program. http://www.firewise.org/ .
  3. GOV.UK, n.d. LH1: Management of lowland heathlandhttps://www.gov.uk/countryside-stewardship-grants/management-of-lowland-heathland-lh1 .
  4. KWFW, 2014. Wildfire Threat Analysis (WTA):NERC-funded scoping project with Forestry Commission. http://www.kfwf.org.uk/_assets/documents/Wildfire_Threat_Analysis_post-project_report.pdf .
  5. HM Tresaury, 2013. Orange book: management of risk - principles and concepts. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/orange-book .
  6. Cabinet Office, 2015. National Risk
 

Factors explaining the spatial distribution of hillslope debris flows: a case study in the Flysch Sector of the Central Spanish Pyrenees

  
Mountain Research and Development, Vol. 22, No. 1. (1 February 2002), pp. 32-39, https://doi.org/10.1659/0276-4741(2002)022[0032:fetsdo]2.0.co;2

Abstract

The spatial distribution of 961 debris flows in the Upper Aragón and Gállego valleys (Central Spanish Pyrenees) was analyzed. Most were located in the Flysch Sector (with a colluvium mantle derived from strongly tectonically modified materials), between 1000 and 1400 m above sea level, on 25?35° gradients with sunny exposure. These gradients were either hillslopes covered by frequently burned scrubland, abandoned fields, or reforested land, confirming the influence of land use and disturbed landscapes on the occurrence of debris flows. ...

 

History matters: previous land use changes determine post-fire vegetation recovery in forested Mediterranean landscapes

  
Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 279 (September 2012), pp. 121-127, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.05.020

Abstract

[Abstract] Land use changes and shifts in disturbance regimes (e.g. wildfires) are recognized worldwide as two of the major drivers of the current global change in terrestrial ecosystems. We expect that, in areas with large-scale land use changes, legacies from previous land uses persist and affect current ecosystem responses to climate-associated disturbances like fire. This study analyses whether post-fire vegetation dynamics may differ according to specific historical land use histories in a Mediterranean forest landscape of about 60,000 ha that was burnt ...

 

Shifts in community-level traits and functional diversity in a mixed conifer forest: a legacy of land-use change

  
Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 53, No. 6. (December 2016), pp. 1755-1765, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12737

Abstract

[Summary] [::1] Historical reference conditions have long been used to guide the restoration of degraded ecosystems. However, a rapidly changing climate and altered disturbance regimes are calling into question the usefulness of this approach. As a consequence, restoration goals are increasingly focused on creating communities that are resilient to novel environmental stressors and emphasis is being placed on defining functional targets through the use of plant traits. While changes in forest structure and composition have received much attention, long-term changes in stand-level ...

 

Scaling up the diversity-resilience relationship with trait databases and remote sensing data: the recovery of productivity after wildfire

  
Global Change Biology, Vol. 22, No. 4. (April 2016), pp. 1421-1432, https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13174

Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms underlying ecosystem resilience – why some systems have an irreversible response to disturbances while others recover – is critical for conserving biodiversity and ecosystem function in the face of global change. Despite the widespread acceptance of a positive relationship between biodiversity and resilience, empirical evidence for this relationship remains fairly limited in scope and localized in scale. Assessing resilience at the large landscape and regional scales most relevant to land management and conservation practices has been limited by ...

 

Newly discovered landscape traps produce regime shifts in wet forests

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108, No. 38. (20 September 2011), pp. 15887-15891, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1110245108

Abstract

We describe the “landscape trap” concept, whereby entire landscapes are shifted into, and then maintained (trapped) in, a highly compromised structural and functional state as the result of multiple temporal and spatial feedbacks between human and natural disturbance regimes. The landscape trap concept builds on ideas like stable alternative states and other relevant concepts, but it substantively expands the conceptual thinking in a number of unique ways. In this paper, we (i) review the literature to develop the concept of landscape ...

 

Patterns of fire severity and forest conditions in the western Klamath Mountains, California

  
Conservation Biology, Vol. 18, No. 4. (August 2004), pp. 927-936, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00493.x

Abstract

The Klamath-Siskiyou region of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon supports globally outstanding temperate biodiversity. Fire has been important in the evolutionary history that shaped this diversity, but recent human influences have altered the fire environment. We tested for modern human impacts on the fire regime by analyzing temporal patterns in fire extent and spatial patterns of fire severity in relation to vegetation structure, past fire occurrence, roads, and timber management in a 98,814-ha area burned in 1987. Fire severity was mapped ...

 

The concept of potential natural vegetation: an epitaph?

  
Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 21, No. 6. (December 2010), pp. 1172-1178, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2010.01218.x

Abstract

We discuss the usefulness of the concept of Potential Natural Vegetation (PNV), which describes the expected state of mature vegetation in the absence of human intervention. We argue that it is impossible to model PNV because of (i) the methodological problems associated to its definition and (ii) the issues related to the ecosystems dynamics.We conclude that the approach to characterizing PNV is unrealistic and provides scenarios with limited predictive power. In places with a long-term human history, interpretations of PNV need ...

 

Human factors of fire occurrence in the Mediterranean

  
In Earth Observation of Wildland Fires in Mediterranean Ecosystems (2009), pp. 149-170, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-01754-4_11
edited by Emilio Chuvieco

Abstract

The Mediterranean region accounts the larger proportion of human caused fires in the world (95%) followed by South Asia (90%), South America (85%) and Northeast Asia (80%) (FAO 2007). Socio-economic changes which are occurring in Europe along with global warming result in an augment of fire risk. Systematic and reliable information on fire causes is necessary in order to improve wildland fire management. However, collection of information on forest fire causes and motivations is still quite restricted in most countries around ...

 

Investigation of root reinforcement decay after a forest fire in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) protection forest

  
Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 400 (September 2017), pp. 339-352, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2017.06.005

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] Engineering resilience of Scots pine 4 years after forest fire has been quantified. [::] Spatial distribution of root reinforcement (RR) has been modeled. [::] RR decay by a factor of 3.6, 4 years after a stand replacing forest fire. [::] Natural regeneration has almost no root reinforcement 4 years after fire. [::] Decay of root mechanical properties determine most of RR loss. [Abstract] Natural disturbances may cause a temporary reduction or elimination of the protective effect of forests. The management of protection forests aims to influence ...

 

Wildfire impacts on the processes that generate debris flows in burned watersheds

  
Natural Hazards In Natural Hazards, Vol. 61, No. 1. (17 March 2012), pp. 217-227, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-011-9769-9

Abstract

Every year, and in many countries worldwide, wildfires cause significant damage and economic losses due to both the direct effects of the fires and the subsequent accelerated runoff, erosion, and debris flow. Wildfires can have profound effects on the hydrologic response of watersheds by changing the infiltration characteristics and erodibility of the soil, which leads to decreased rainfall infiltration, significantly increased overland flow and runoff in channels, and movement of soil. Debris-flow activity is among the most destructive consequences of these ...

 

Analysis of recent spatial–temporal evolution of human driving factors of wildfires in Spain

  
Natural Hazards, Vol. 84, No. 3. (2016), pp. 2049-2070, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-016-2533-4

Abstract

Fire regimes are strongly dependent on human activities. Understanding the relative influence of human factors on wildfire is an important ongoing task especially in human-dominated landscapes such as the Mediterranean, where anthropogenic ignitions greatly surpass natural ignitions and human activities are modifying historical fire regimes. Most human drivers of wildfires have a temporal dimension, far beyond the appearance of change, and it is for this reason that we require an historical/temporal analytical perspective coupled to the spatial dimension. In this paper, ...

 

Impacts of future land use/land cover on wildfire occurrence in the Madrid region (Spain)

  
Regional Environmental Change In Regional Environmental Change, Vol. 16, No. 4. (2016), pp. 1047-1061, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-015-0819-9

Abstract

This paper assesses the relative importance of socioeconomic factors linked to fire occurrence through the simulation of future land use/land cover (LULC) change scenarios in the Madrid region (Spain). This region is a clear example of the socioeconomic changes that have been occurring over recent decades in the European Mediterranean as well as their impact on LULC and fire occurrence. Using the LULC changes observed between 1990 and 2006 as a reference, future scenarios were run up to 2025 with the ...

 

The effects of thinning and similar stand treatments on fire behavior in Western forests

  

Abstract

In the West, thinning and partial cuttings are being considered for treating millions of forested acres that are overstocked and prone to wildfire. The objectives of these treatments include tree growth redistribution, tree species regulation, timber harvest, wildlife habitat improvement, and wildfire-hazard reduction. Depending on the forest type and its structure, thinning has both positive and negative impacts on crown fire potential. Crown bulk density, surface fuel, and crown base height are primary stand characteristics that determine crown fire potential. Thinning ...

 

A comparison of landscape fuel treatment strategies to mitigate wildland fire risk in the urban interface and preserve old forest structure

  
Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 259, No. 8. (31 March 2010), pp. 1556-1570, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2010.01.032

Abstract

We simulated fuel reduction treatments on a 16,000 ha study area in Oregon, US, to examine tradeoffs between placing fuel treatments near residential structures within an urban interface, versus treating stands in the adjacent wildlands to meet forest health and ecological restoration goals. The treatment strategies were evaluated by simulating 10,000 wildfires with random ignition locations and calculating burn probabilities by 0.5 m flame length categories for each 30 m × 30 m pixel in the study area. The burn conditions for the wildfires were chosen to ...

 

Retrieval of forest fuel moisture content using a coupled radiative transfer model

  
Environmental Modelling & Software, Vol. 95 (September 2017), pp. 290-302, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2017.06.006

Abstract

Forest fuel moisture content (FMC) dynamics are paramount to assessing the forest wildfire risk and its behavior. This variable can be retrieved from remotely sensed data using a radiative transfer model (RTM). However, previous studies generally treated the background of forest canopy as soil surface while ignored the fact that the soil may be covered by grass canopy. In this study, we focused on retrieving FMC of such forestry structure by coupling two RTMs: PROSAIL and PRO-GeoSail. The spectra of lower ...

 

Spatial patterns and drivers of fire occurrence and its future trend under climate change in a boreal forest of Northeast China

  
Global Change Biology, Vol. 18, No. 6. (June 2012), pp. 2041-2056, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02649.x

Abstract

Understanding the spatial patterns of fire occurrence and its response to climate change is vital to fire risk mitigation and vegetation management. Focusing on boreal forests in Northeast China, we used spatial point pattern analysis to model fire occurrence reported from 1965 to 2009. Our objectives were to quantitate the relative importance of biotic, abiotic, and human influences on patterns of fire occurrence and to map the spatial distribution of fire occurrence density (number of fires occurring over a given area ...

 

Fire regime changes in the Western Mediterranean Basin: from fuel-limited to drought-driven fire regime

  
Climatic Change In Climatic Change, Vol. 110, No. 1-2. (1 January 2012), pp. 215-226, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0060-6

Abstract

Wildfires are an integral part of Mediterranean ecosystems; humans impact on landscapes imply changes in fuel amount and continuity, and thus in fire regime. We tested the hypothesis that fire regime changed in western Mediterranean Basin during the last century using time series techniques. We first compiled a 130-year fire history for the Valencia province (Spain, Eastern Iberian Peninsula, Western Mediterranean Basin) from contemporary statistics plus old forest administration dossiers and newspapers. We also compiled census on rural population and climatic ...

 

Human influence on California fire regimes

  
Ecological Applications, Vol. 17, No. 5. (July 2007), pp. 1388-1402, https://doi.org/10.1890/06-1128.1

Abstract

Periodic wildfire maintains the integrity and species composition of many ecosystems, including the mediterranean-climate shrublands of California. However, human activities alter natural fire regimes, which can lead to cascading ecological effects. Increased human ignitions at the wildland–urban interface (WUI) have recently gained attention, but fire activity and risk are typically estimated using only biophysical variables. Our goal was to determine how humans influence fire in California and to examine whether this influence was linear, by relating contemporary (2000) and historic (1960–2000) ...

 

Influence of landscape structure on patterns of forest fires in boreal forest landscapes in Sweden

  
Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 34, No. 2. (1 February 2004), pp. 332-338, https://doi.org/10.1139/x03-175

Abstract

To analyze the effect of landscape structure (viz. amount of wetlands) on the past forest fire regime in boreal Sweden, we reconstructed detailed fire histories by cross-dating fire scars in living and dead Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in two different landscape types: mire-free landscapes with a low proportion (1%?2%) of mires and mire-rich landscapes with a high proportion (21%?33%) of mires. Two localities were selected and at each one, adjacent mire-free and mire-rich areas of 256?601 ha were sampled. Over ...

 

Southern Annular Mode drives multicentury wildfire activity in southern South America

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 36. (05 September 2017), pp. 9552-9557, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1705168114

Abstract

[Significance] Fire is a key ecological process affecting ecosystem dynamics and services, driven primarily by variations in fuel amount and condition, ignition patterns, and climate. In the Southern Hemisphere, current warming conditions are linked to the upward trend in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) due to ozone depletion. Here we use tree ring fire scar data obtained from diverse biomes ranging from subtropical dry woodlands to sub-Antarctic rainforests to assess the effect of the SAM on regional fire activity over the past ...

 

A human-driven decline in global burned area

  
Science, Vol. 356, No. 6345. (30 June 2017), pp. 1356-1362, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aal4108

Abstract

[Burn less, baby, burn less] Humans have, and always have had, a major impact on wildfire activity, which is expected to increase in our warming world. Andela et al. use satellite data to show that, unexpectedly, global burned area declined by ∼25% over the past 18 years, despite the influence of climate. The decrease has been largest in savannas and grasslands because of agricultural expansion and intensification. The decline of burned area has consequences for predictions of future changes to the atmosphere, ...

 

Mechanisms of plant survival and mortality during drought: why do some plants survive while others succumb to drought?

  
New Phytologist, Vol. 178, No. 4. (1 June 2008), pp. 719-739, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02436.x

Abstract

Severe droughts have been associated with regional-scale forest mortality worldwide. Climate change is expected to exacerbate regional mortality events; however, prediction remains difficult because the physiological mechanisms underlying drought survival and mortality are poorly understood. We developed a hydraulically based theory considering carbon balance and insect resistance that allowed development and examination of hypotheses regarding survival and mortality. Multiple mechanisms may cause mortality during drought. A common mechanism for plants with isohydric regulation of water status results from avoidance of drought-induced ...

 

Influence of tree species on continental differences in boreal fires and climate feedbacks

  
Nature Geoscience, Vol. 8, No. 3. (2 February 2015), pp. 228-234, https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2352

Abstract

Wildfires are common in boreal forests around the globe and strongly influence ecosystem processes. However, North American forests support more high-intensity crown fires than Eurasia, where lower-intensity surface fires are common. These two types of fire can result in different net effects on climate as a consequence of their contrasting impacts on terrestrial albedo and carbon stocks. Here we use remote-sensing imagery, climate reanalysis data and forest inventories to evaluate differences in boreal fire dynamics between North America and Eurasia and ...

 

Post-fire spread of alien plant species in a mixed broad-leaved forest of the Insubric region

  
Flora - Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants, Vol. 207, No. 1. (January 2012), pp. 19-29, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.flora.2011.07.016

Abstract

How do tree species regenerate and which ecological conditions are required after forest fire in the Insubric region of the Alps? Are indigenous stand-forming tree species resistant over the invasion of alien plant species after such a disturbance? We addressed these questions in a case study in the Swiss canton of Ticino. In April 2006, a surface fire with severe intensity burnt a forest area of 55 ha on a south-facing slope (400–800 m.a.s.l.). The dominant trees in the investigated area ...

 

A comparative study of aboveground biomass of three Mediterranean species in a post-fire succession

  
Acta Oecologica, Vol. 25, No. 1-2. (March 2004), pp. 1-6, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2003.10.002

Abstract

The aboveground biomass of three woody species (Cistus albidus, Quercus coccifera and Pinus halepensis) in two early successional stages (3- and 10-year old) of a post-fire Mediterranean ecosystem was investigated. Among these three species, which belong to the successional series of holm oak (Quercus ilex), C. albidus and Q. coccifera are two dominant shrub species in the garrigue ecosystem and P. halepensis is a pioneer tree species widely represented in the Mediterranean area. The results obtained showed that in monospecific stands, ...

 

Bark thickness and fire regime

  
Functional Ecology, Vol. 29, No. 3. (1 March 2015), pp. 315-327, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12372

Abstract

[::] Bark is a vital and very visible part of woody plants, yet only recently has bark characteristics started to be considered as key traits structuring communities and biomes. Bark thickness is very variable among woody plants, and I hypothesize that fire is a key factor selecting for a thick bark, and thus, at the global scale, a significant proportion of the variability in bark thickness is explained by the variability in fire regimes. Previous research has focused on the importance ...

 

Resprouting as a key functional trait: how buds, protection and resources drive persistence after fire

  
New Phytologist, Vol. 197, No. 1. (January 2013), pp. 19-35, https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.12001

Abstract

[Summary] Resprouting as a response to disturbance is now widely recognized as a key functional trait among woody plants and as the basis for the persistence niche. However, the underlying mechanisms that define resprouting responses to disturbance are poorly conceptualized. Resprouting ability is constrained by the interaction of the disturbance regime that depletes the buds and resources needed to fund resprouting, and the environment that drives growth and resource allocation. We develop a buds-protection-resources (BPR) framework for understanding resprouting in fire-prone ...

 

The lanky and the corky: fire-escape strategies in savanna woody species

  
Journal of Ecology, Vol. 101, No. 5. (1 September 2013), pp. 1265-1272, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12118

Abstract

[::] Fire and herbivory are the main disturbances shaping the structure of savannas. In these ecosystems, the key strategies by which woody plants escape fire are either early height growth (the lanky strategy) or early bark growth (the corky strategy). We hypothesize that the dominance of each strategy in different savannas depends on the prevailing disturbance regimes. Given the importance of herbivory in afrotropical savanna, we expect woody plants in these savannas to be taller and have thinner barks (the lanky ...

 

Resistance and resilience to changing climate and fire regime depend on plant functional traits

  
Journal of Ecology, Vol. 102, No. 6. (November 2014), pp. 1572-1581, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12306

Abstract

[Summary] [::] Changing disturbance–climate interactions will drive shifts in plant communities: these effects are not adequately quantified by environmental niche models used to predict future species distributions. We quantified the effects of more frequent fire and lower rainfall – as projected to occur under a warming and drying climate – on population responses of shrub species in biodiverse Mediterranean-climate type shrublands near Eneabba, southwestern Australia. [::] Using experimental fires, we measured the density of all shrub species for four dominant plant functional groups ...

 

Fire as an evolutionary pressure shaping plant traits

  
Trends in Plant Science, Vol. 16, No. 8. (August 2011), pp. 406-411, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2011.04.002

Abstract

Traits, such as resprouting, serotiny and germination by heat and smoke, are adaptive in fire-prone environments. However, plants are not adapted to fire per se but to fire regimes. Species can be threatened when humans alter the regime, often by increasing or decreasing fire frequency. Fire-adaptive traits are potentially the result of different evolutionary pathways. Distinguishing between traits that are adaptations originating in response to fire or exaptations originating in response to other factors might not always be possible. However, fire ...

 

Little evidence for fire-adapted plant traits in Mediterranean climate regions

  
Trends in Plant Science, Vol. 16, No. 2. (20 February 2011), pp. 69-76, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2010.10.007

Abstract

As climate change increases vegetation combustibility, humans are impacted by wildfires through loss of lives and property, leading to an increased emphasis on prescribed burning practices to reduce hazards. A key and pervading concept accepted by most environmental managers is that combustible ecosystems have traditionally burnt because plants are fire adapted. In this opinion article, we explore the concept of plant traits adapted to fire in Mediterranean climates. In the light of major threats to biodiversity conservation, we recommend caution in ...

 

Recurrent wildfires constrain long-term reproduction ability in Pinus halepensis Mill.

  
International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 17, No. 5. (2008), 579, https://doi.org/10.1071/wf07078

Abstract

Increasing fire recurrence is a major problem threatening Mediterranean-type ecosystems. Moreover, this pattern is predicted to increase owing to global change. Although a reduction in the density and growth of post-fire regeneration is usually observed in recurrently burnt areas, the potential effects on reproductive ability have seldom been explored. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether structural changes induced by fire recurrence may constrain reproduction ability of Pinus halepensis forests. We conducted the current study in Catalonia (NE ...

 

Different approaches to model future burnt area in the Iberian Peninsula

  
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Vol. 202 (March 2015), pp. 11-25, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2014.11.018

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] We distinguish four regions with different fire regimes in the Iberian Peninsula. [::] Statistical models (meteorology driven) are developed to reproduce burnt area series. [::] We check performances of RCMs simulating present climate burnt area distributions. [::] Different methods to correcting model biases are tested and applied to RCM outputs. [::] Our models project about 2–3 more times mean burnt area in Iberia around 2075. [Abstract] In this work we developed projections for future fire regimes in the Iberian Peninsula using outputs from Regional Climate Model ...

 

Robust projections of Fire Weather Index in the Mediterranean using statistical downscaling

  
Climatic Change, Vol. 120, No. 1-2. (2013), pp. 229-247, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-013-0787-3

Abstract

The effect of climate change on wildfires constitutes a serious concern in fire-prone regions with complex fire behavior such as the Mediterranean. The coarse resolution of future climate projections produced by General Circulation Models (GCMs) prevents their direct use in local climate change studies. Statistical downscaling techniques bridge this gap using empirical models that link the synoptic-scale variables from GCMs to the local variables of interest (using e.g. data from meteorological stations). In this paper, we investigate the application of statistical ...

 

Precipitation dominates fire occurrence in Greece (1900–2010): its dual role in fuel build-up and dryness

  
Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, Vol. 14, No. 1. (03 January 2014), pp. 21-32, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-14-21-2014

Abstract

Historical fire records and meteorological observations spanning over one century (1894–2010) were assembled in a database to collect long-term fire and weather data in Greece. Positive/negative events of fire occurrence on an annual basis were considered as the years where the annual values of the examined parameters were above (positive values) or below (negative values) the 95% confidence limits around the trend line of the corresponding parameter. To analyse the association of positive/negative events of fire occurrence with meteorological extremes, we ...

 

On the key role of droughts in the dynamics of summer fires in Mediterranean Europe

  
Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, No. 1. (6 March 2017), 81, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00116-9

Abstract

Summer fires frequently rage across Mediterranean Europe, often intensified by high temperatures and droughts. According to the state-of-the-art regional fire risk projections, in forthcoming decades climate effects are expected to become stronger and possibly overcome fire prevention efforts. However, significant uncertainties exist and the direct effect of climate change in regulating fuel moisture (e.g. warmer conditions increasing fuel dryness) could be counterbalanced by the indirect effects on fuel structure (e.g. warmer conditions limiting fuel amount), affecting the transition between climate-driven and ...

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