Animals as Agents in Fire Regimes

Claire N. Foster, Sam C. Banks, Geoffrey J. Cary, Christopher N. Johnson, David B. Lindenmayer, Leonie E. Valentine

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Fire is a powerful ecological and evolutionary force. Animals that modify drivers of fire behaviour could therefore have far-reaching effects on ecosystems. Yet, with a few notable exceptions, effects of animals on fire have been often overlooked. We show how animals can affect fire behaviour by modifying the amount, structure, or condition of fuel or, more rarely, by altering other controls on fire such as wind speed or ignition patterns. Some effects are readily observed and quantified. Others are more subtle but could be considerable when accumulated over time, space, and animal taxa. A combination of manipulative experiments, landscape studies, and multiscale fire models will be necessary to understand the consequences of widespread changes in animal populations for landscape fire.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)346-356
    Number of pages11
    JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
    Issue number4
    Early online date5 Mar 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


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