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Managing Fire and Biodiversity in the Wildland-Urban Interface: A Role for Green Firebreaks

1
Department of Pest-management and Conservation, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
2
School of Environment, University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
3
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Wakehurst Place, West Sussex RH17 6TN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
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Abstract

In the wildland-urban interface, the imperative is often to protect life and property from destructive fires, while also conserving biodiversity. One potential tool for achieving this goal is the use of green firebreaks: strips of low flammability species planted at strategic locations to help reduce fire spread by slowing or stopping the fire front, extinguishing embers or blocking radiant heat. If comprised of native species, green firebreaks also have biodiversity benefits. Green firebreaks have been recommended for use throughout the world, including the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia. However, despite this widespread endorsement, there has been little empirical testing of green firebreaks, particularly with field experiments. This knowledge gap needs addressing. Green firebreaks should be considered as part of the revegetation strategy following recent extensive wildfires in places such as New Zealand and Chile. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity conservation; fire ecology; green firebreaks; plant flammability; wildland-urban interface biodiversity conservation; fire ecology; green firebreaks; plant flammability; wildland-urban interface
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Curran, T.J.; Perry, G.L.W.; Wyse, S.V.; Alam, M.A. Managing Fire and Biodiversity in the Wildland-Urban Interface: A Role for Green Firebreaks. Fire 2018, 1, 3.

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