Mountain farmland protection and fire-smart management jointly reduce fire hazard and enhance biodiversity and carbon sequestration
Honrado, João P.
Regos Sanz, Adrián
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The environmental and socio-economic impacts of wildfires are foreseen to increase across southern Europe over the next decades regardless of increasing resources allocated for fire suppression. This study aims to identify fire-smart management strategies that promote wildfire hazard reduction, climate regulation ecosystem service and biodiversity conservation. Here we simulate fire-landscape dynamics, carbon sequestration and species distribution (116 vertebrates) in the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Gerês-Xurés (NW Iberia). We envisage 11 scenarios resulting from different management strategies following four storylines: Business-as-usual (BAU), expansion of High Nature Value farmlands (HNVf), Fire-Smart forest management, and HNVf plus Fire-Smart. Fire-landscape simulations reveal an increase of up to 25% of annual burned area. HNVf areas may counterbalance this increasing fire impact, especially when combined with fire-smart strategies (reductions of up to 50% between 2031 and 2050). The Fire-Smart and BAU scenarios attain the highest estimates for total carbon sequestered. A decrease in habitat suitability (around 18%) since 1990 is predicted for species of conservation concern under the BAU scenario, while HNVf would support the best outcomes in terms of conservation. Our study highlights the benefits of integrating fire hazard control, ecosystem service supply and biodiversity conservation to inform better decision-making in mountain landscapes of Southern Europe.
Is part ofEcosystem Services, 2020, vol. 44, article 101143
European research projects
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as cc-by-nc-nd, (c) Pais, Silvana et al., 2020
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