Wildfires: Are we ready for the future?

In the past 18 months we’ve witnessed some of the worst wildfire seasons in our history. With insight from relevant experts, Dr Eric Kennedy and Luke Smith – let’s delve into some of the key logistical challenges we’re facing in wildfire response. With record breaking temperatures, less predictable rainfall and an increase in extreme weather events, it is not surprising that fire seasons are changing. … Continue reading Wildfires: Are we ready for the future?

Tropical riparian forests in danger from large savanna wildfires

In their latest research, Flores and colleagues combine satellite image analysis with detailed field assessments, to quantify the impact caused by large wildfires on riparian forests in the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (CVNP). Large savanna wildfires are increasing across the tropics because of a synergism between climate change and unsustainable management practices. In Brazil, for instance, savannas of the Cerrado and Pantanal have recently … Continue reading Tropical riparian forests in danger from large savanna wildfires

Investigating the effects of fire management on savanna biodiversity with grid‐based spatially explicit population simulations

The development of effective fire management regimes is a global challenge. New research from Davies and colleagues aims to develop a flexible modelling approach to investigate how the spatiotemporal application of fire influences savanna biodiversity. Despite the integral role that fire plays in the functioning of ecosystems around the world, there remain few areas where the occurrence of fire has not been disrupted, in some … Continue reading Investigating the effects of fire management on savanna biodiversity with grid‐based spatially explicit population simulations

Grazers and fire management: conservation from a ‘systems’ perspective

How do grazing herbivores like hippos affect the influence of fire? Following a recently published article, Izak Smit demonstrates the need for interdependence between herbivore and fire management. Grazing animals and fire are in direct competition – both of them consume grass. Previous continental-scale studies suggest that grazing animals have the competitive advantage in drier and more nutritious landscapes, whilst fires dominate in wetter and … Continue reading Grazers and fire management: conservation from a ‘systems’ perspective

Deer prevent severe canopy fires, save oak trees and contribute to ecosystem carbon storage

While deer may impact tree regeneration, they can also help prevent the spread of severe wildfires. Given increased likelihood of extreme climatic events, such as droughts, Miguel Bugalho explains how we need to consider both the positive and negative effects of wild ungulate grazing.  Deer mitigate severe wildfires Wild ungulate herbivores, namely deer, may negatively affect tree regeneration through consumption and damage of young seedlings … Continue reading Deer prevent severe canopy fires, save oak trees and contribute to ecosystem carbon storage

Integrating fire management policies within conservation planning: ‘win-win’ solutions for bird conservation and wildfire prevention

Adrián Regos and colleagues highlight how their conservation planning objectives can lead to ‘win-win’ situations for bird conservation and wildfire prevention in fire-prone abandoned landscapes. This follows the recent publication of their article, Trade‐offs and synergies between bird conservation and wildfire suppression in the face of global change. Protected areas play a key role in safeguarding biodiversity worldwide. However, their role can be seriously compromised … Continue reading Integrating fire management policies within conservation planning: ‘win-win’ solutions for bird conservation and wildfire prevention

First steps towards active fire management on the Brazilian Cerrado – Primeiros passos em direção ao manejo ativo de fogo no Cerrado

Moving away from zero-fire policy in the Brazilian Cerrado. Associate Editor, Rafael D. Zenni comments on the recent Policy Direction, Fire management in the Brazilian savanna: First steps and the way forward by Schmidt et al. Rafael also provided a Portuguese version  of this post. The journal welcomes blog posts and abstracts in different languages. English version The Brazilian Cerrado is recognised by many as the most … Continue reading First steps towards active fire management on the Brazilian Cerrado – Primeiros passos em direção ao manejo ativo de fogo no Cerrado

Prescribed burns for multiple needs – is optimising spatial planning the solution to conflicting fire management objectives?

Following our recent Editor’s Choice that looked at prescribed burns in African savanna, this latest blog by Brooke Williams turns to fire management and prescribed burns in Australia. The blog supports Williams’ recent paper, Optimising the spatial planning of prescribed burns to achieve multiple objectives in a fire-dependent ecosystem. Fire management is an important aspect of ensuring the safety of Australians living within fire-prone environments. It … Continue reading Prescribed burns for multiple needs – is optimising spatial planning the solution to conflicting fire management objectives?

High Intensity Fires – do they reverse bush encroachment or speed up the loss of tall trees?

In this post Izak Smit discusses his recent paper ‘An examination of the efficacy of high-intensity fires for reversing woody encroachment in savannas‘. Woody densification in savannas Many studies have documented how grasslands and open savannas are being invaded by woody plants. This phenomenon is predicted to increase as atmospheric CO2 levels increase, favouring woody plants at the expense of grasses. Woody encroachment can have … Continue reading High Intensity Fires – do they reverse bush encroachment or speed up the loss of tall trees?

60-year dataset provides first evidence of waterfowl resilience to wildfire in burning boreal forest

In this post Associate Editor Ayesha Tulloch discusses a paper she recently handled by Tyler L. Lewis, Joel A. Schmutz, Courtney L. Amundson, and Mark S. Lindberg,  ‘Waterfowl populations are resilient to immediate and lagged impacts of wildfires in the boreal forest‘ Across much of the fire-dependent ecosystems of the globe, fire at appropriate intervals and intensities is critical for stimulating growth and reproduction. However, … Continue reading 60-year dataset provides first evidence of waterfowl resilience to wildfire in burning boreal forest