About this Research Topic
Fire is a fundamental ecological driver of vegetation composition, structure and functionality. It has long been used by humans to reshape landscapes and redirect successional pathways, clearly influencing the biodiversity distribution of the affected areas. While natural fire regimes have, therefore, been altered since the early stages of humanity, climatic changes (precipitation, temperature, humidity and extreme events) combined with human expansion, are bringing fire pressures over ecosystems (recurrence, intensity, severity, fire seasons) to a new dimension. The impacts of these new fire dimensions on biodiversity are not yet fully understood. Examples include intensified fire presence and severity in biomes that are ill-adapted to fire (e.g. tropical moist and rainforests), fires in relictual ecosystems in the limit of their climatic niches (e.g. Pinus nigra in north-eastern Spanish montane ranges exclusion in ecosystems that are fire-dependent) (e.g. Savanna woodlands and grasslands). The consequences of these ‘new fire normals’ on ecosystem biodiversity and functionality require further research.
In this Research Topic we would like to broadly focus on the effects of ‘new fire normals’ on biodiversity including composition, structure, and function, with a keen focus on ecological transitions, successional disruptions, and biodiversity loss that requires urgent action through policy development and implementation.
Keywords: Fire, Forest fire, Biodiversity, Tropical forests, Landscape, Fire regime, Climate change, Forest ecosystem, New fire normals, Biodiversity loss, Policy
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