Fire ecology

Definition

Fire ecology is the study of the interaction between ecosystems and the wildfires that occur naturally within them. Wildfires are common in various ecosystems and can be necessary for plant developmental processes. Fire ecology also studies the effect of anthropogenic change and management on the incidence and effects of wildfires.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Editorial |

    The 2017 wildfire season has seen unusually high fire levels in many parts of the world, with extensive and severe fires occurring in Chile, the Mediterranean, Russia, the US, Canada and even Greenland. Is this a sign of things to come?

  • Editorial |

    Fire has always been one of the more dramatic routes by which humanity and the plant kingdom interact. Forest management practices, urban planning and global warming are conspiring to make the relationship ever more destructive.

    Nature Plants 3, 17124
  • News and Views |

    Fire weather indices are unsuited to forecast fire in tropical rainforests. Now research shows the area burnt across Borneo is related to drought-depleted water tables, presenting the opportunity to predict fire danger in these environments.

    • David Bowman
  • News and Views |

    Boreal forest fires tend to be more intense and lethal in North America than Eurasia. Differences in tree species composition explain these differences in fire regime, and lead to contrasting feedbacks to climate.

    • Mike Flannigan
    Nature Geoscience 8, 167–168
  • News |

    Forests in the American west are under attack from giant fires, climate change and insect outbreaks. Some ecosystems will never be the same.

  • News and Views |

    The extinction of megafauna in Australia roughly coincided with shifts in vegetation and fire regimes. Sediment geochemistry shows that the vegetation shift followed the extinction, indicating that the loss of browsers promoted fire and altered plant composition.

    • Beverly Johnson
    Nature Geoscience 6, 595–596