CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > International Journal of Wildland Fire   
International Journal of Wildland Fire
http://www.iawfonline.org/
  Published on behalf of the International Association of Wildland Fire
 
blank image Search
 
blank image blank image
blank image
 
  Advanced Search
   

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Contacts
Content
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
20-Year Author Index
For Authors
General Information
Notice to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review Article
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with CP
blank image
facebook twitter youtube

 

Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 17(6)

Are wildfires a disaster in the Mediterranean basin? – A review

Juli G. Pausas A D, Joan Llovet A, Anselm Rodrigo B, Ramon Vallejo A C

A CEAM (Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo), C/ Charles R. Darwin 14, Parc Tecnologic, E-46980 Paterna, Valencia, Spain.
B CREAF (Centre de Recerca i Applicacions Forestals), Department of Ecology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain.
C Department of Plant Biology, Universitat de Barcelona, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain.
D Corresponding author. Present address: CIDE, CISC, Apartado Oficial, E-46470 Albal, Valencia, Spain. Email: juli.g.pausas@uv.es
 
PDF (338 KB) $25
 Export Citation
 Print
  


Abstract

Evolutionary and paleoecological studies suggest that fires are natural in the Mediterranean basin. However, the important increase in the number of fires and area burned during the 20th century has created the perception that fires are disasters. In the present paper, we review to what extent fires are generating ecological disasters in the Mediterranean basin, in view of current fire regimes and the long-term human pressure on the landscapes. Specifically, we review studies on post-fire plant regeneration and soil losses. The review suggests that although many Mediterranean ecosystems are highly resilient to fire (shrublands and oak forest), some are fire-sensitive (e.g. pine woodlands). Observed erosion rates are, in some cases, relatively high, especially in high fire severity conditions. The sensitive ecosystems (in the sense of showing strong post-fire vegetation changes and soil losses) are mostly of human origin (e.g. extensive pine plantations in old fields). Thus, although many Mediterranean basin plants have traits to cope with fire, a large number of the ecosystems currently found in this region are strongly altered, and may suffer disasters. Post-fire disasters are not the rule, but they may be important under conditions of previous human disturbances.

Keywords: erosion rates, Mediterranean-type ecosystems, post-fire regeneration, resilience, resprouting, soil losses.


   
Subscriber Login
Username:
Password:  

    
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help

CSIRO

© CSIRO 1996-2014