NCEAS Project 12567

Fire as a Global Ecological Disturbance

  • Max A. Moritz

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Fire affects a variety of biophysical patterns and processes, but we generally lack an understanding of fire’s ecological influence at broad scales. Two key issues highlight this knowledge gap: 1) Fire is certain to alter species distributions as global climate change progresses, yet most models of how species ranges may shift overlook this important ecological disturbance; and 2) Analyses of existing biodiversity patterns, especially from continental to global scales, typically ignore the possible influence of fire. To address these issues, my sabbatical research will aim to synthesize current results on global patterns of fire, climate, and species distributions. This work should improve our understanding of fire’s direct and indirect influences on biodiversity, where different species will be able to persist as climate changes, and how to better incorporate fire into long-term conservation planning.

TypeProduct of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Moritz, Max A.; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Batllori, Enric; Krawchuk, Meg A.; Van Dorn, Jeff; Ganz, David; Hayhoe, Katharine. 2012. Climate change and disruptions to global fire activity. Ecosphere. Vol: 3(6). Pages art49-art49. (Online version)