This book provides a unique exploration of the inter-relationships between the science of plant environmental responses and the understanding and management of forest fires. It bridges the gap between plant ecologists, interested in the functional and evolutionary consequences of fire in ecosystems, with foresters and fire managers, interested in effectively reducing fire hazard and damage.
This innovation in this study lies in its focus on the physiological responses of plants that are of relevance for predicting forest fire risk, behaviour and management. It covers the evolutionary trade-offs in the resistance of plants to fire and drought, and its implications for predicting fuel moisture and fire risk; the importance of floristics and plant traits, in interaction with landform and atmospheric conditions, to successfully predict fire behaviour, and provides recommendations for pre- and post-fire management, in relation with the functional composition of the community. The book will be particularly focused on examples from Mediterranean environments, but the underlying principles will be of broader utility.
Section 1: Introduction
Chapter 1: Forest Fires as a Global Phenomenon
Chapter 2: Fire as an Earth System Process
Chapter 3: Evolution of the Mediterranean Flora in a Flammable Planet
Chapter 4: Fire Regimes across Space
Section 2: Organismal and Ecosystem Responses to Forests Fires
Chapter 5: Effects of Forest Fires on Soil Processes and Organisms
Chapter 6: Plant Traits and Forest Fires
Chapter 7: Forest Succession, Alternative States and Fire-Vegetation Feedbacks
Section 3: The Physiology of Forest Fuels
Chapter 8: Plant Carbon Economies and the Dynamics of Forest Fuels
Chapter 9: Environmental Plant Responses and Forest Fire Risk
Chapter 10: Plant Survival after Fire
Section 4: Fire Behaviour and Management
Chapter 11: Ecological Impacts of Anthropogenic Fire
Chapter 12: Fire Propagation
Chapter 13: Forest Planning and Fire Risk Reduction
Chapter 14: Post-Fire Management
Section 5: Forest Fires and Global Change
Chapter 15: Forest Fires and Global Change
Víctor Resco de Dios works as a Professor at the School of Life Sciences and Engineering at Southwest University for Science and Technology and a Research Scientist at the Joint Research Unit CTFC-Agrotecnio and the University of Lleida.
"[...] This is a fascinating book on a number of levels. It's a highly technical but also a highly readable account so nonspecialists would have little trouble in understanding the arguments put forward. It's also one of those books that tends to be seen as something for postgraduates and above but it also contains a great deal of material for undergraduate students to appreciate. [...]"
– Paul Ganderton, The Niche, autumn 2021