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David B. Lindenmayer, Marta Yebra, Geoffrey J. Cary
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Fire Effects

NRFSN number: 25262
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Plantations of trees are key sources of wood products globally and are increasing in extent in many jurisdictions around the world. Plantations also can be flammable and fire prone with extensive areas of the existing plantation estate being burnt every year. This has consequences not only for forest industries reliant on plantations but also for the safety of human communities living close to plantations. We argue greater consideration of the fire risks in plantations is needed in planning where plantations are located at regional, landscape and compartment scales. These considerations extend to what tree species are planted in what places, particularly in relation to climatic conditions and environmental factors like topography. These considerations can influence fire regimes and, in turn, the risks posed by fire to plantations and areas adjacent to potentially flammable plantations. Other factors associated with fire risks in plantations include the juxtaposition of different land uses in landscapes and the opportunities they present to limit spatial contagion in fire behaviour. There is also potential for new technologies to better detect and more quickly extinguish fires that ignite within plantations and fires that start outside plantations but then burn into them. Better planning for, and management of, wildfires in plantations is needed because of their importance for wood supply and the danger they can pose to the safety of people living in increasingly plantation-dominated landscapes.


Lindenmayer DB, Yebra M, and Cary GJ. 2023. Perspectives: Better managing fire in flammable tree plantations. Forest Ecology and Management 528 article 120641.

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