Altered cyclone–fire interactions are changing ecosystems

Thomas Ibanez, William J. Platt, Peter J. Bellingham, Ghislain Vieilledent, Janet Franklin, Patrick H. Martin, Christophe Menkes, Diego R. Pérez-Salicrup, Jeremy Russell-Smith, Gunnar Keppel

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Global change is altering interactions between ecological disturbances. We review interactions between tropical cyclones and fires that affect woody biomes in many islands and coastal areas. Cyclone-induced damage to trees can increase fuel loads on the ground and dryness in the understory, which increases the likelihood, intensity, and area of subsequent fires. In forest biomes, cyclone–fire interactions may initiate a grass–fire cycle and establish stable open-canopy biomes. In cyclone-prone regions, frequent cyclone-enhanced fires may generate and maintain stable open-canopy biomes (e.g., savannas and woodlands). We discuss how global change is transforming fire and cyclone regimes, extensively altering cyclone–fire interactions. These altered cyclone–fire interactions are shifting biomes away from historical states and causing loss of biodiversity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1218-1230
    Number of pages13
    JournalTrends in Plant Science
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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