Grassland fires in hungary – experiences of nature conservationists on the effects of fire on biodiversity

Deák, Balázs and Valkó, Orsolya and Török, Péter and Végvári, Zs. and Hartel, Tibor and Schmotzer, András and Kapocsi, István and Tóthmérész, Béla (2014) Grassland fires in hungary – experiences of nature conservationists on the effects of fire on biodiversity. APPLIED ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH. pp. 267-283. ISSN 1589-1623


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Fire as a natural disturbance has been present in most European grasslands. Controlled burning was also an important component of the traditional landscape management for millennia. It was mainly used to reduce litter and woody vegetation and to maintain open landscapes suitable for farming. Due to socio-economical changes traditional and sustainable use of fire was ceased and replaced by arsons and technical fires in Europe. Despite its wide application in the past and the considerable extension and frequency of current grassland fires, the impact of fire on the grassland biodiversity is still scarcely documented in Europe. The aim of this study is to offer a perspective on the issue of fire impact on grasslands, by overviewing published information and practical experiences from Hungary. Our results suggest that fire can be detrimental for several taxa (e.g. insects or ground-dwelling birds), but can also promote population growth of several endangered species by reducing litter or by creating and maintaining open habitats. We also found that fire may be effective in controlling invasive plant species. The effect of fire on grassland biodiversity may be rather context-dependent. There is a critical need for developing robust evidences on the context-dependence of fire effect on biodiversity. For this, well designed prescribed burning experiments are crucial.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH540 Ecology / ökológia
Q Science / természettudomány > QK Botany / növénytan
Q Science / természettudomány > QK Botany / növénytan > QK30 Plant ecology. Plant ethology / növényökológia
Depositing User: Orsolya Valkó
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2016 10:28
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2016 10:28

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