Overview: Global fire regime conditions, threats, and opportunities for fire management in the tropics

9 de maio de 2009

maio 9, 2009

Ayn Shlisky, Ane Alencar, María Manta Nolasco, Lisa M. Curran

Fire is a natural process that has played a major role in shaping our environment and maintaining biodiversity worldwide. However, over 60% of the world’s terrestrial habitats have altered fire regimes. At least 20% of global habitats are classified as fire-sensitive, including most tropical habitats; they are composed of species that did not largely evolve in the presence of fire. Over 70% of these fire-sensitive habitats have altered fire regimes.

While fire has been, and still is, an important tool used by humans to cultivate agricultural landscapes, when human actions cause too much, too little, or the wrong type of fire, it can threaten our environment by releasing unacceptable levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, providing pathways for harmful invasive species, altering landscape hydrology, impairing local and regional air quality, and presenting a direct and often increased risk to human habitation.

Recognizing the value and need to assess the world’s fire regimes, The Nature Conservancy, University of California at Berkeley, World Conservation Union (IUCN), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) completed an expert-based analysis of the state of the world’s fire regimes based on currently available data and expert opinion. The major sources of fire regime alteration worldwide include climate change, agriculture and ranching, deforestation, rural and urban development, energy production, fire exclusion and suppression, invasive species, plantations, and arson. Integrated fire management (IFM) is an approach that considers both damaging and beneficial fires within the context of the natural environments and socio-economic systems in which they occur. IFM takes into account fire ecology, socio-economic issues, and fire management technology to generate practical solutions to fire-related threats to biodiversity.

A. Alencar, M. Manta, and L. M. Curran. 2009. Overview: Global fire regime conditions, threats, and opportunities for fire management in the tropics. Pages 65-83 in M. A. Cochrane, editor. Tropical fire ecology: Climate Change, Land Use, and Ecosystem Dynamics. Springer, New York.

Acess: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-540-77381-8_3

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