In many ecosystems, fire promotes a greater variety of species of plants and animals since it creates a more diverse set of environments. The positive effects of fire cannot be generalized to all aspects of an ecosystem; profound knowledge about the local species and fire regime is crucial. Insights from the study are useful for planning management of forest biomass fuel, controlled burnings, and forest fire suppression.
A new study on wildfires in California, published in the journal PLOS ONE, and with the participation of Enric Batllori, researcher from CREAF and the Catalonia Forest Technology Centre (CTFC), reveals that human activities influence the frequency and location of wildfires just as much as climate. The researchers evaluated both the 'anthropogenic factor' and climate change. This is the first time that a study of this sort has been carried out in a territory of such size (California is about 13 times the size of Catalonia).
A study by CTFC and CREAF scientists has led to the development of a mathematical model which predicts drought stress in forests. The research shows that forest drought stress depends on climatic conditions as well as vegetation and soil characteristics.
Assistant technician position in landscape modelling and data analyses in Solsona (InForest JRU, CTFC-CREAF)21 de January 2016Albert Naya i Díaz
We offer a technician position in landscape modelling and analysis of environmental data to join the Biodiversity and Landscape Ecology Lab at the InForest Join Research Unit (CREAF-CTFC-CEMFOR) in the context of global change impacts on Mediterranean systems.
According to a study in which CREAF participated, the populations of birds or butterflies living in open habitats have been negatively affected by the loss of field and scrubland habitat. Conversely, species which live in forests have been favored. These variations were related with changes in the Catalonian (and Mediterranean) landscape over the last few decades.
A CEED (Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions) Research Fellow has been recently awarded one of the five Victorian Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. He will travell to Spain to study the threat of fires to biodiversity at the CTFC (Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia) and CREAF (Centre of Ecological Research and Forestry Applications).
InForest mixed unity, composed by CTFC and CREAF, has published the first images taken by drones of the burned area from Òdena's wildfire (Barcelona area), occurred last july which burned more than 1.200 ha. InForest is pioneer in drones use for ecology and conservation research.
The mathematic model developed by CREAF and CTFC is able to estimate the probability a landscape has to suffer a wind-driven fire, a topographic fire or a fuel driven fire. This tool could be used to improve fire suppression strategies and adapt prevention measures in front the new climate change scenario.
A recent study from CREAF, CTFC, and the UAB warns that if the continuity of forest vegetative cover over large parts of the territory is not reduced with urgency, catastrophic fires will become more and more common. Allowing some spontaneous fires to burn under controlled conditions could help to resolve this problem.
A new model of landscape evolution, developed by a group of Catalan and Canadian researchers, identifies that the ability to extinguish fire is essential in the explanation of the fire patterns in Catalan territory. The model also shows that, if current climate trends continue, the burned area could increase by more than 60% in the next 20 years.