Redirecting fire-prone Mediterranean ecosystems toward more resilient and less flammable communities

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Título: Redirecting fire-prone Mediterranean ecosystems toward more resilient and less flammable communities
Autor/es: Santana, Víctor M. | Baeza, M. Jaime | Valdecantos Dema, Alejandro | Vallejo, V. Ramón
Grupo/s de investigación o GITE: Gestión de Ecosistemas y de la Biodiversidad (GEB)
Centro, Departamento o Servicio: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ecología | CEAM (Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterraneo)
Palabras clave: Clearing | Flammable communities | Plantation | Resprouting species | Succession
Área/s de conocimiento: Ecología
Fecha de publicación: 1-jun-2018
Editor: Elsevier
Cita bibliográfica: Journal of Environmental Management. 2018, 215: 108-115. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.03.063
Resumen: The extensive abandonment of agricultural lands in the Mediterranean basin has led to large landscapes being dominated by early-successional species, characterized by high flammability and an increasing fire risk. This fact promotes fire occurrence and places ecosystems in a state of arrested succession. In this work, we assessed the effectiveness of several restoration actions in redirecting these ecosystems toward more resilient communities dominated by resprouting species. These actions included the mechanical clearing of early-successional species, the plantation of resprouting species, and the combination of both treatments. For 13 years, we assessed shifts in the successional trajectory and ecosystem flammability by changes in: species composition, species richness, ecosystem evenness, the natural colonization of resprouting species, total biomass and proportion of dead biomass. We observed that the plantation and clearing combination was a suitable strategy to promote resilience. Species richness increased as well as the presence of the resprouting species introduced by planting. The natural colonization of the resprouting species was also enhanced. These changes in the successional trajectory were accompanied by a possible reduction of fire risk by reducing dead fuel proportion. These findings are relevant for the management of Mediterranean basin areas, but also suggest new tools for redirecting systems in fire-prone areas worldwide.
Patrocinador/es: This research was financed by the DESESTRES (PROMETEO II ES/2014/038), GESFIRE (ULE/CEAM), SURVIVE-2 (CGL2015-69773-C2-2-P) and the CASCADE (European Commission FP7/GA283068) projects. VMS was supported by a “Beatriu de Pinós” fellowship (2014BP-B-00056) from the Generalitat de Catalunya.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/76545
ISSN: 0301-4797 (Print) | 1095-8630 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.03.063
Idioma: eng
Tipo: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Derechos: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd.
Revisión científica: si
Versión del editor: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.03.063
Aparece en las colecciones:INV - GEB - Artículos de Revistas
Investigaciones financiadas por la UE

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