Document


Title

Increasing threat of wildfires: the year 2020 in perspective: a Global Ecology and Biogeography special issue
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Rachael H. Nolan; Liana O. Anderson; Benjamin Poulter; J. Morgan Varner III
Publication Year: 2022

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • 2020 fire season
  • catastrophic fires
  • fire regimes
  • megafires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 11, 2022
FRAMES Record Number: 66586

Description

Aim: Each year, wild and managed fires burn roughly 4 million km2 [~400 million hectares (Mha)] of savanna, forest, grassland and agricultural ecosystems. Land use and climate change have altered fire regimes throughout the world, with a trend toward higher-severity fires found from Australia, the Americas, Europe and Asia, to the Arctic. In 2020, there were notable catastrophic fires in Australia (in the 2019/20 Austral fire season), the Western United States, South America and Siberia. These fires defined much of the global fire year and were compounded by the socio-economic disruption of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Location: Global.

Time period: 2020.

Major taxa studied: Flora and fauna.

Methods: The Global Ecology and Biogeography special issue, ‘Increasing threat of wildfires: the year 2020 in perspective’, includes 18 papers that catalogue these fire events, their drivers and their impacts on flora and fauna.

Results: Collectively, these papers highlight the importance of fire response traits, exposure and sensitivity to interacting threats in determining fire impacts.

Main conclusions: The scale of the 2020 megafires has helped identify new research areas required to more comprehensively assess fire impacts on biodiversity and biogeochemistry and to inform ecosystem management.

Online Link(s):
Citation:
Nolan, Rachael H.; Anderson, Liana O.; Poulter, Benjamin; Varner, J. Morgan. 2022. Increasing threat of wildfires: the year 2020 in perspective: a Global Ecology and Biogeography special issue. Global Ecology and Biogeography online early.