Vegetation shift and laurophyllisation: the possible role of forest fires

Conedera, Marco; Hofmann, Claire; Tinner, Willy (1999). Vegetation shift and laurophyllisation: the possible role of forest fires. In: Klötzli, Frank; Walther, Gian-Reto (eds.) Conference on Recent Shifts in Vegetation Boundaries of Deciduous Forests, Especially Due to General Global Warming. Monte Verità - Proceedings of the Centro Stefano Franscini Ascona (pp. 69-84). Birkhäuser Basel 10.1007/978-3-0348-8722-9_5

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Southern Switzerland is a fire prone area where fire has to be considered as a natural environmental factor. In the past decades, fire frequency has tended to increase due to changes in landscape management. The most common type of fire is surface fire which normally breaks out during the vegetation resting period. Usually this type of fire shows short residence time (rapid spread), low to medium fire intensity and limited size. South-facing slopes are particularly fire-prone, so that very high fire frequency is possible: under these conditions passive resistant species and postfire resprouting species are favoured, usually leading to a reduction in the number of surviving species to a few fire adapted sprouters.
Evergreen broadleaves are extremely sensitive to repeated fires. A simulation of the potential vegetation of southern Switzerland under climatic changed conditions evidenced the coincidence of the potential area of spreading forests rich in evergreen broad-leaved species with the most fire-prone area of the region.
Therefore, in future, wildfires could play an important regulating role: most probably they will not stop the large-scale laurophyllisation of the thermophilous forests of southern Switzerland, but at sites with high fire frequency the vegetation shift could be slowed or even prevented by fire-disturbances.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Tinner, Willy

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISBN:

978-3-0348-9743-3

Series:

Monte Verità - Proceedings of the Centro Stefano Franscini Ascona

Publisher:

Birkhäuser Basel

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

11 Mar 2016 11:13

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2020 12:08

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/978-3-0348-8722-9_5

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.77661

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/77661

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