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Bridging the Divide: Integrating Animal and Plant Paradigms to Secure the Future of Biodiversity in Fire-Prone Ecosystems

1
School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 30105, Australia
2
InForest Joint Research Unit (CREAF-CTFC), Crta. de Sant Llorenç de Morunys, Km. 2, 25280 Solsona, Spain
3
CREAF, Campus de Bellaterra (UAB) Edifici C 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
4
CSIC, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
5
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
6
CIDE-CSIC, Ctra. Naquera Km. 4.5, 46113 Montcada, Valencia, Spain
7
Department of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract

Conserving animals and plants in fire-prone landscapes requires evidence of how fires affect modified ecosystems. Despite progress on this front, fire ecology is restricted by a dissonance between two dominant paradigms: ‘fire mosaics’ and ‘functional types’. The fire mosaic paradigm focuses on animal responses to fire events and spatial variation, whereas the functional type paradigm focuses on plant responses to recurrent fires and temporal variation. Fire management for biodiversity conservation requires input from each paradigm because animals and plants are interdependent and influenced by spatial and temporal dimensions of fire regimes. We propose that better integration of animal-based and plant-based approaches can be achieved by identifying common metrics that describe changes in multiple taxa; linking multiple components of the fire regime with animal and plant data; understanding plant-animal interactions; and incorporating spatial and temporal characteristics of fires into conservation management. Our vision for a more integrated fire ecology could be implemented via a collaborative and global network of research and monitoring sites, where measures of animals and plants are linked to real-time data on fire regimes. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity monitoring; fire ecology; fire management; fire mosaic; functional trait; life-history; plant functional type; plant-animal interactions; pyrodiversity; wildfire biodiversity monitoring; fire ecology; fire management; fire mosaic; functional trait; life-history; plant functional type; plant-animal interactions; pyrodiversity; wildfire
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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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Kelly, L.T.; Brotons, L.; Giljohann, K.M.; McCarthy, M.A.; Pausas, J.G.; Smith, A.L. Bridging the Divide: Integrating Animal and Plant Paradigms to Secure the Future of Biodiversity in Fire-Prone Ecosystems. Fire 2018, 1, 29.

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