Policy ForumLAND USE

Managing Forests and Fire in Changing Climates

Science  04 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6154, pp. 41-42
DOI: 10.1126/science.1240294

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Summary

With projected climate change, we expect to face much more forest fire in the coming decades. Policy-makers are challenged not to categorize all fires as destructive to ecosystems simply because they have long flame lengths and kill most of the trees within the fire boundary. Ecological context matters: In some ecosystems, high-severity regimes are appropriate, but climate change may modify these fire regimes and ecosystems as well. Some undesirable impacts may be avoided or reduced through global strategies, as well as distinct strategies based on a forest's historical fire regime.

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