Juli G. Pausas
Research scientist at Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación (CIDE, Valencia, Spain) of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC; the Spanish National Research Council). His research focuses on the Ecology and Evolution of fire-prone ecosystems, and specifically on understanding the role of fire in shaping plant species, populations, communities and landscapes
The yin and the yang in fire ecology
Fire is often viewed as a negative factor that destroys ecosystems (yin); and this view is exacerbating as the climate is warming and fires are getting larger and more intense. However, fires are a natural phenomena that has been affecting terrestrial ecosystems for many millions of years and have contributed in shaping the great biodiversity of our planet (yang). Are these two views compatible? How can we reconcile these contrasting views? In this talk I will first review evidence on how fires can shape biodiversity, and then, how global change is modifying fire regimes. There is no simple way to balance the yin and yang. Our challenge is to find ways to preserve fire as an ecological and evolutionary process even on a planet under changing conditions.