Advances in the study of global forest wildfires
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Tong Li; Lizhen Cui; Lilan Liu; Yang Chen; Hongdou Liu; Xiufang Song; Zhihong Xu
Publication Year: 2023

Cataloging Information

  • climate change
  • fire research
  • forest ecosystems
  • human disturbance
  • literature review
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 19, 2023
FRAMES Record Number: 68405


Purpose: Wildfire is one of the most important natural disturbances in forest and multi-vegetation ecosystems, directly or indirectly affecting the structural processes and functions of forest ecosystems with varying degrees. Wildfire releases vast amounts of carbon dioxide and other substances by destroying vegetation, making itself an important topic for the study of global change and environmental impacts. Therefore, a deeper understanding of this topic is particularly crucial for managing forest ecosystems.

Methods: This paper was based on a literature search of the Web of Science database for international forest wildfire research, utilizing bibliometric and quantity statistical analysis methods.

Results: The results show that forest wildfire research has been rapidly growing over the last 20 years, with the number of relevant articles generally increasing yearly at an average annual growth rate of about 22.45%. The US tops the list in terms of total and independent publications, with a total of 3111 articles (49.88%). The key journals publishing on this topic include 12 journals, Stephens S.L., Bergeron Y., and Lindenmayer D.B. are the key contributing authors to the field, and research institutions are primarily concentrated in the US Forest Service. Keyword co-occurrence analysis shows that current forest wildfire research is focused on seven main areas. This paper systematically reviewed the progress and hotspots of international forest wildfire research in recent decades, mainly focusing on occurrences, severity, management, and warning techniques for wildfires, as well as the impact of climate change and human activities on wildfires.

Conclusions: The study concludes that research trends in this field have undergone a significant evolution in recent decades. The future forest wildfire research moves towards a combination of typical mechanisms and large-scale effects across spatial and temporal scales, deep integration of aerospace and earth observations and precise simulations, discipline fusion, and couplings research. We believe that this study provides a comprehensive and systematic overview for future forest wildfire observation, prediction, management, and investigation of ecological effects.

Online Link(s):
Li, Tong; Cui, Lizhen; Liu, Lilan; Chen, Yang; Liu, Hongdou; Song, Xiufang; Xu, Zhihong. 2023. Advances in the study of global forest wildfires. Journal of Soils and Sediments 23(7):2654-2668.