Focus Group A: Fire baselines by biome
Coordinator Anne-Laure Daniau, CNRS, Université de Bordeaux, France
Fire is projected to increase in specific regions of the globe in response to a concomitant global warming and regional dryness due to high levels of greenhouse gases, but large uncertainties and biases remain in integrating this non-linear process into global modelling of the Earth system. For some projections, only changes in climate variables are used to estimate the fire risk even though we know vegetation variability is an important determinant of fire dynamics and responds itself to change in climate.Read more
Focus Group B: Fire risk & management
Coordinator Olivier Blarquez, Université de Montréal, Canada
Fire management practices constitute an important source of variation of fire regime worldwide. Fire management by different civilisations has varied in time following cultural revolutions and technological advances, and in space due to differences in climate, the structure of fuels and the provision of ecosystem services. Fire risk is thus perceived differently by societies and management practices evolve accordingly. In a changing world where fire risk constitutes an important threat to the global carbon cycle and the provision of ecosystem services, fire management based on interdisciplinary knowledge represents a challenge. Read more
Focus Group C: Fire & biodiversity conservation (DiverseK)
Coordinator Daniele Colombaroli, Centre for Quaternary Research, RHUL
Fire is an important determinant of forest structure and species composition, but its role in biodiversity changes over the long term is largely unknown. Baseline information from long-term data is particularly needed for restoration programs in many biodiversity hotspots, including alpine meadows, Mediterranean maquis, and tropical ecosystems.Read more The aim of this focus group is to bring together experts interested in the long-term effects of fire on both taxonomic and genetic diversity, and to exploit available tools (e.g. GCD, pollen DB’s) to test relevant questions for biodiversity conservation. Those include: 1) biodiversity changes during cultural transitions (e.g. Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Europe, Iron Age in Equatorial Africa); 2) key ecological factors explaining global diversity patterns (i.e. the latitudinal diversity gradient); and 3) testing hypotheses on biodiversity response to disturbance regimes (e.g. intermediate disturbance hypothesis). Understanding how ecosystems with different histories of climate and human impact responded to past disturbances (both natural and anthropogenic) is highly informative for determining future responses of species and communities to global changes, and will fill a vital knowledge gap for biodiversity and ecosystem management.
In September 2018, we organized the workshop “DiverseK: integrating paleoecology, traditional knowledge and stakeholders” (http://www.pastglobalchanges.org/products/12735)
Integration of ecosystem science and applied research in ecosystem management is a high priority and key challenge for the science-policy interface, as recently highlighted by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES 2018). A more direct involvement of stakeholders and policymakers into the research agenda requires new approaches for knowledge transfer from the academic to the stakeholder community, as also emphasized during previous workshops organized by the Global Paleofire Working Group GPWG2 (Blarquez et al. 2018; Courtney-Mustaphi et al., this issue).
The workshop included 30 participants from 15 countries to discuss ongoing challenges on biodiversity conservation and fire policy, considering three approaches: (a) long-term ecology – informing on ecosystem responses to environmental change across regions and timescales (paleoecology-informed conservation); (b) local, traditional, and indigenous-knowledge systems on fire management that maintain biodiversity (community-owned and -driven conservation); and (c) conservation challenges and agendas defined by stakeholders and policymakers (stakeholder-driven research). The combination of long-term ecology with traditional knowledge represents a novel and alternative approach to promote a more sustainable management practice of present ecosystems under current threats, and fosters the dialogue between the different disciplines.
More information about the DiverseK on our Twitter @diverse_K
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