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Fire effects on soils and Ecosystems (co-organized)
Convener: Paulo Pereira  | Co-Conveners: Marcos Francos , Jorge Mataix-Solera , Xavier Ubeda , Agata Novara , Saskia Keesstra 
Fri, 28 Apr, 13:30–15:00

Fire is a natural phenomenon in earth ecosystems. In fact, the earth is the planet of fire, since earth evolution would not be understandable without the visit of the flames. Many ecosystems depend on fire impact and it is strongly recognized that several species only germinate in pyrophyte environments. Fire is an important aspect for biodiversity in many ecosystems. Human activities during the Anthropocene strongly changed fire regimes, with tremendous impacts in the environment. A good example of this is the Mediterranean bioma, which cannot be understood without the fire presence. Since the last quarter of the XX century, rural exodus, lifestyle changes, the incorrect forest management (pine and eucalyptus plantations), fire policies (increase of fire suppression and the criminalization of the fire use as a management tool) and the global warming, contributed to the increase of the frequency of high severity wildfires. These wildfires have tremendous environmental, social and eco nomical costs. The impacts on the ecosystems are very high and their capacity to recover is strongly reduced. In addition, wildfires, have negative impacts in the economy of the local communities. Fire can be a bad master or a good servant, depending on how we understand and manage it. One thing is clear, it is impossible to extinguish fire from nature. The capacity of recuperation of the ecosystems strongly depends on the management of the burned areas, and several times, the human intervention is not the best option and can degrade the fragile post-fire environments. The aim of this course is to give an overview about the current causes of fire occurrence, impacts on the ecosystems and management of burned areas.


Prescribed fires effect on physical, chemical and biological properties of soils
Manuel Esteban Lucas Borja

Universidad de Castilla La Mancha
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos y de Montes
Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología Agroforestal y Genética
Campus Universitario s/n,
C.P. 02071, Albacete (Spain)

Fire impacts on grassland vegetation
Orsolya Valkó

MTA-DE Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Research Group. H-4032 Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1., Hungary.