Fire and biodiversity in the Anthropocene

Date: 20, Apr, 2021
Author(s):   Luke T. Kelly, Katherine M. Giljohann, Andrea Duane, Núria Aquilué, Sally Archibald, Enric Batllori, Andrew F. Bennett, Stephen T. Buckland, Quim Canelles, Michael F. Clarke, Marie-Josée Fortin, Virgilio Hermoso, Sergi Herrando, Robert E. Keane, Frank K. Lake, Michael A. McCarthy, Alejandra Morán Ordóñez, Catherine L. Parr, Juli G. Pausas, Trent D. Penman, Adrián Regos, Libby Rumpff, Julianna L. Santos, Annabel L. Smith, Alexandra D. Syphard, Morgan W. Tingley, Lluís Brotons
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science

Fire has been a source of global biodiversity for millions of years. Yet, interactions with anthropogenic drivers such as climate change, land-use and invasive species are changing the nature of fire activity and its impacts. We review how such changes are threatening species with extinction and transforming terrestrial ecosystems. Conservation of Earth’s biological diversity will be achieved only by recognizing and responding to the critical role of fire. In the Anthropocene, this requires that conservation planning explicitly include the combined effects of human activities and fire regimes. Improved forecasts for biodiversity must also integrate the connections between people, fire and ecosystems. Such integration provides an opportunity for new actions that could revolutionize how society sustains biodiversity in a time of changing fire activity.