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A global synthesis of fire effects on ecosystem services of forests and woodlands

Author(s): Jose V. Roces-Díaz, Cristina Santin, Jordi Martinez-Vilalta, Stefan H. Doerr
Year Published: 2022

Fire is a primary disturbance in the world’s forested ecosystems and its impacts are projected to increase in many regions due to global climate change. Fire impacts have been studied for decades, but integrative assessments of its effects on multiple ecosystem services (ES) across scales are rare. We conducted a global analysis of persistent (>1 year) fire effects on eight ES reported over the past 30 years, evaluating qualitative and quantitative information from 207 peer-reviewed studies. Significant effects were predominantly positive for “water provision” and negative for “water quality”, “climate regulation”, and “erosion control”; for “food provision” and “soil fertility”, no overall significant effects emerged; and for “recreation” or “pollination”, data were insufficient. These effects were generally short-lived (1–2 years) and were more common after wildfires than after prescribed burns. However, available data were primarily derived from only a few countries/biomes and extended only over short time periods, highlighting the need for future research focusing on underrepresented regions and biomes, more extensive timeframes, and multiple ES.

Citation: Roces-Díaz, Jose V.; Santín, Cristina; Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi; Doerr, Stefan H. 2022. A global synthesis of fire effects on ecosystem services of forests and woodlands. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 20(3):170-178. https://doi.org/10.1002/fee.2349
Topic(s): Fire Ecology, Fire Effects, Fire & Climate, Fuels, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Prescribed Fire-use treatments
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 24473
FRAMES RCS number: 64999
Record updated: May 4, 2022