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Fire In Mediterranean Ecosystems

Author: Jon E. Keeley
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521824915
Size: 13.38 MB
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Explores the role of fire in Mediterranean-type climate ecosystems, providing unique insights into the assembly and evolutionary convergence of ecosystems.

Earth Observation Of Wildland Fires In Mediterranean Ecosystems

Author: Emilio Chuvieco
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9783642017544
Size: 31.77 MB
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Wildland fires are becoming one of the most critical environmental factors affecting a wide range of ecosystems worldwide. In Mediterranean ecosystems (including also South-Africa, California, parts of Chile and Australia), wildland fires are recurrent phenomena every summer, following the seasonal drought. As a result of changes in traditional land use practices, and the impact of recent climate warming, fires have more negative impacts in the last years, threatening lives, socio-economic and ecological values. The book describes the ecological context of fires in the Mediterranean ecosystems, and provides methods to observe fire danger conditions and fire impacts using Earth Observation and Geographic Information System technologies.

The Role Of Fire In Mediterranean Type Ecosystems

Author: Jose M. Moreno
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461383951
Size: 47.47 MB
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Fire has been recognized as a vital agent influencing the diversity and vigor of landscapes. It is particularly important in Mediterranean ecosystems, such as those of California. This book is of interest to ecologists, policy makers, and land managers.

Climate Change Induced Shifts In Fire For Mediterranean Ecosystems

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Abstract Aim Pyrogeographical theory suggests that fire is controlled by spatial gradients in resources to burn (fuel amount) and climatic conditions promoting combustion (fuel moisture). Examining trade‐offs among these environmental constraints is critical to understanding future fire activity. We evaluate constraints on fire frequency in modern fire records over the entire Mediterranean biome and identify potential shifts in fire activity under an ensemble of global climate projections. Location The biome encompassing the Mediterranean‐type ecosystems (MTEs). Methods We evaluate potential changes in fire over the 21st century in MTEs based on a standardized global framework. Future fire predictions are generated from statistical fire−climate models driven by ensembles of climate projections under the IPCC A2 emissions scenario depicting warmer–drier and warmer–wetter syndromes. We test the hypothesis that MTEs lie in the transition zone discriminating fuel moisture versus fuel amount as the dominant constraint on fire activity. Results Fire increases reported in MTEs in recent decades may not continue throughout the century. MTEs occupy a sensitive portion of global fire−climate relationships, especially for precipitation‐related variables, leading to highly divergent fire predictions under drier versus wetter syndromes. Warmer–drier conditions could result in decreased fire activity over more than half the Mediterranean biome by 2070–2099, and the opposite is predicted under a warmer–wetter future. MTEs encompass, however, a climate space broad and complex enough to include spatially varied fire responses and potential conversions to non‐MTE biomes. Main conclusions Our results strongly support the existence of both fuel amount and fuel moisture constraints on fire activity and show their geographically variable influence throughout MTEs. Climatic controls on fire occurrence in MTEs lie close to 'tipping points', where relatively small changes in future climates could translate into drastic and divergent shifts in fire activity over the Mediterranean biome, mediated by productivity alterations.

Redirecting Fire Prone Mediterranean Ecosystems Toward More Resilient And Less Flammable Communities

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Abstract: The extensive abandonment of agricultural lands in the Mediterranean basin has led to large landscapes being dominated by early-successional species, characterized by high flammability and an increasing fire risk. This fact promotes fire occurrence and places ecosystems in a state of arrested succession. In this work, we assessed the effectiveness of several restoration actions in redirecting these ecosystems toward more resilient communities dominated by resprouting species. These actions included the mechanical clearing of early-successional species, the plantation of resprouting species, and the combination of both treatments. For 13 years, we assessed shifts in the successional trajectory and ecosystem flammability by changes in: species composition, species richness, ecosystem evenness, the natural colonization of resprouting species, total biomass and proportion of dead biomass. We observed that the plantation and clearing combination was a suitable strategy to promote resilience. Species richness increased as well as the presence of the resprouting species introduced by planting. The natural colonization of the resprouting species was also enhanced. These changes in the successional trajectory were accompanied by a possible reduction of fire risk by reducing dead fuel proportion. These findings are relevant for the management of Mediterranean basin areas, but also suggest new tools for redirecting systems in fire-prone areas worldwide. Graphical abstract: Highlights: Large landscapes are dominated by highly flammable species with high fire risk. Clearing and planting key species can be suitable management strategies. Restoration actions displace the system towards a more resilient community. The introduction of resprouters to the detriment of seeder species is a key step.

Cumulative Effects Of Fire And Drought In Mediterranean Ecosystems

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Abstract: The occurrence of multiple disturbances can jointly affect the recovery capacity of ecosystems, potentially leading to changes in vegetation dynamics or loss of resilience. The effects of interacting disturbances on ecosystems are, however, not well understood. We use a model system based on Mediterranean‐type ecosystems (MTEs) to examine how the interplay between vegetation regeneration traits and compound, stochastic disturbances modulate ecosystem dynamics. We developed a state‐and‐transition simulation model including two tree species with contrasting regeneration strategies (seeder vs. resprouter) and a shrubland formation. We aim to assess potential compositional switches under contrasted scenarios of compound fire–drought regimes, and to characterize the cumulative effects of fire–drought (synergism vs. antagonism) relative to the effects of individual disturbance regimes. Our simulation results indicate that interaction between moderate fire and sporadic drought recurrence—as opposed to chronic dryness—can act as a strong mechanism generating highly heterogeneous landscapes in which different regeneration types coexist, as observed in MTEs. Resprouters dominated under individual, moderate disturbance regimes of fire or drought, whereas the interaction of the two disturbances promoted the long‐term coexistence of both tree regeneration strategies. However, shrubland expansion and persistence at the expanse of forests was favored by increases in drought recurrence and associated fire–drought interactions, highlighting the potential for important vegetation changes in MTEs under climate change. Overall, the cumulative effects of fire and drought can lead to distinct landscape configurations under moderate disturbance regimes that are otherwise only attained under high frequency of individual disturbances. At the ecosystem level, however, we suggest that disturbance‐induced vegetation dynamics can modify vegetation sensitivity and resilience to further disturbances precluding the prevalence of synergistic effects of the two disturbances.

Fire And Ecosystems

Author: T.T. Kozlowski
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 0323146171
Size: 15.69 MB
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Fire and Ecosystems focuses on a number of aspects of fire ecology. This book deals separately with both harmful and beneficial effects of fire on soils, soil organisms, animals, and plants. This reference material elucidates the effects of fire on grasslands and considers the role of fire in temperate forests and related ecosystems. Four chapters are presented on a regional basis to highlight variations in responses, especially plant succession, to fire. The use of fire in land management is also explored. This book will serve as an invaluable reference material to researchers, teachers, and land managers.