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PREVENTION OF WILDFIRES ON FORESTS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION BY PRESCRIBED FIRE AND GRAZING : EFFECTS UPON THE ECOSYSTEM.

Objective



THE REDUCTION OF WILDFIRES IS POSSIBLE BY THE REDUCTION OF UNDERSTORY FUELS. IN NORTH AMERICA A 90 PERCENT REDUCTION OF THE AREAS BURNT BY WILDFIRES IS REPORTED IN AREAS WHERE PRESCRIBED FIRE WAS USED.

FIRE HAS BEEN USED EXTENSIVELY FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS BY SHEPHERDS IN ORDER TO IMPROVE GRAZING CAPABILITIES OF THE SHRUB AREAS. IN SPITE OF THE LEGISLATION, THIS IS STILL A PRACTICE IN SOME AREAS AND IT IS NOT A NEGLIGIBLE SOURCE OF FIRES IN PORTUGAL. HOWEVER THE EMIGRATION PERIOD BEGINNING ON THE SIXTIES AND THE PROHIBITION OF GRAZING IN FORESTS LED TO AN INCREASE OF THE SHRUBBY VEGETATION INSIDE AND OUTSIDE FORESTS WITH A CORRESPONDING INCREASE OF SEVERE AND LARGE WILDFIRES THAT KILL PEOPLE AND HAVE VERY NEGATIVE ECONOMICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES.

STUDY OF FIRE AND GRAZING EFFECTS CAN ONLY BE INTERPRETED IF RELATED TO FIRE AND GRAZING CHARACTERISTICS. SO FIRE WILL BE MEASURED FOR RATE OF SPREAD, INTENSITY, TEMPERATURES AT IMPORTANT POINTS, FIRE WEATHER AND FUEL CHARACTERISTICS. GRAZING WILL BE MEASURED FOR QUANTITY CONSUMED, QUALITY OF FORAGE ANIMAL PREFERENCES AND BEHAVIOUR.

STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF PRESCRIBED FIRE AND PRESCRIBED FIRE PLUS GRAZING ON IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS OF THE ECOSYSTEM WILL BE CARRIED OUT.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSIDADE DE TRAS-OS-MONTES E ALTO DOURO
Address
Quinta De Prados, Campus Universitario, Apart. 202
5000-911 Vila Real
Portugal