Special Issue "Land-Use and Fire around the World from the Past to the Present"

A special issue of Fire (ISSN 2571-6255).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Julie C. Aleman

Département de Géographie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: grassland and savanna ecology and conservation; tropical ecology and biogeography (savanna and forest distribution); spatial and temporal ecology; fire and disturbance ecology; climate and land-use changes
Guest Editor
Dr. Olivier Blarquez

Département de Géographie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: paleoecology; biodiversity; fires
Guest Editor
Dr. Boris Vannière

CNRS, Chrono-environnement UMR 6249, MSHE USR 3124, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, F-25000 Besançon, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Paleoecology, paleohydrology, land cover and land use changes, paleofire regime, fire ecology and fire practices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human–fire interactions have, in many parts of the world, a long-lasting and pervasive influence on natural ecosystems. The naturalness of those ecosystems is thus questioned until evidence of human action on fire regimes have been unequivocally proven by solid scientific techniques. Human actions on long-term fire regimes may include active fire ignition, suppression, and all vegetation cover modifications that impact the quality, quantity or connectivity of fuel in the landscape. These actions also include the modifications of fire ignition probabilities via the alteration of the global carbon cycle and climate.

These above-mentioned influences are highly dependant on the spatial and temporal scales that are studied, and, more importantly, depend on societies and their land-use practices. Different disciplines can bring insights into the long-term interactions of fire and human, such as (paleo)-ecology, archaeology, biogeography, modelling and all the fire history related sciences. A better understanding of land uses with fire and their influences on long-term ecosystems dynamics will help to assess whether current and future conditions will diverge from previously experienced ecosystem states. The implications of those finding are indeed important for ecosystem management in a context of mitigation of biodiversity loss, promotion of ecosystem resilience to global change and preservation of ecosystem functions and services, all of which being potentially concerned by worldwide fire occurrences.

In this Special Issue, we seek articles dealing with human modification of fire regimes, human fire management and practices, and the various processes associated with this relationship at temporal scales ranging from millennia to decades. Articles dealing with aboriginal fire uses, assessment of long-term influence of different societies on fire regimes and how this knowledge could be used for restoration, conservation or management of ecosystems are highly welcome.

Dr. Julie C. Aleman
Dr. Olivier Blarquez
Dr. Boris Vannière
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fire is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Slash-and-Burn Practices Decrease Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Abundance in Soil and the Roots of Didierea madagascariensis in the Dry Tropical Forest of Madagascar
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
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Abstract
Deforestation and the use of fire to clear land have drastic effects on ecosystem functioning and compromise essential ecosystem services, especially in low-income tropical countries such as Madagascar. We evaluated the effects of local slash-and-burn practices on soil nutrients and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM)
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Deforestation and the use of fire to clear land have drastic effects on ecosystem functioning and compromise essential ecosystem services, especially in low-income tropical countries such as Madagascar. We evaluated the effects of local slash-and-burn practices on soil nutrients and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi abundance in a southwestern Madagascar forest. Nine sampling plot pairs were established along the border of a reserve within the Fiherenana–Manombo (pk-32) complex, where soil and seedling root samples of the endemic tree Didierea madagascariensis were taken. We analysed soil extractable PO43−, NH4+, and NO3 as well as total soil carbon and nitrogen. We analysed AM fungal abundance in soil and roots through fatty acid marker analysis (NLFA and PLFA 16:1ω5), spore extraction, and root staining. Slash-and-burn caused an increase in pH and doubled the plant available nutrients (from 7.4 to 13.1 µg PO43− g−1 and from 6.9 to 13.2 µg NO3 g−1). Total C and total N increased in deforested soil, from 0.6% to 0.84% and from 0.06% to 0.08%, respectively. There was a significant decline in AM fungi abundance in soil, with a decrease in soil NLFA 16:1ω5 from 0.2 to 0.12 nmol/g. AM fungi abundance in D. madagascariensis roots was also negatively affected and colonization decreased from 27.7% to 16.9% and NLFA 16:1ω5 decreased from 75.7 to 19 nmol/g. Together with hyphal network disruption, increased nutrient availability caused by burning is proposed as an explanation behind AM decline in soil and roots of D. madagascariensis. This is the first study to report the effects of slash-and-burn on AM symbiosis in Madagascar’s dry forests, with likely implications for other tropical and subtropical dryland forests worldwide where slash-and-burn is practiced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land-Use and Fire around the World from the Past to the Present)
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Open AccessArticle Historical Drivers and Contemporary Perceptions of Wildfire in a Post-Industrial Rural Landscape
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 9 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
Placed-based fire management planning that considers historical patterns and processes as well as contemporary local knowledge is recognized as an alternative to broad-scale, regional approaches. In this paper, we used dendrochronology and an online survey to assess historical trends and contemporary perceptions of
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Placed-based fire management planning that considers historical patterns and processes as well as contemporary local knowledge is recognized as an alternative to broad-scale, regional approaches. In this paper, we used dendrochronology and an online survey to assess historical trends and contemporary perceptions of wildfire, respectively, in the fire-prone anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania. We developed an annual index of fire occurrence and extent from 216 fire-scarred pitch pine (Pinus rigida) distributed across 9 ridgetop study sites for the period 1900–2016. In addition, we collected survey responses from area residents regarding contemporary perceptions of wildfire hazards and management. Our results show that 20th century wildfire activity was not associated with drought, but closely followed fluctuations in the anthracite coal industry, with increased fire occurrence and extent associated with times of severe job losses. Less extensive wildfire continues to occur frequently, with area residents recognizing the need for fuel management (i.e., prescribed fire) and an increase in resources allocated to wildfire prevention and management as well as trash disposal and recycling programs. Our research represents one example of an integrated approach to informing sustainable fire management that considers the link between historical patterns and contemporary perceptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land-Use and Fire around the World from the Past to the Present)
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