Effect of pre- and post-wildfire management practices on plant recovery after a wildfire in Northeast Iberian Peninsula

  • Marcos FrancosEmail author
  • Paulo Pereira
  • Xavier Úbeda
Original Paper


Fire and pre- or post-fire management practices shape the distribution and richness of plant species. Here, the effects of pre- and post-fire management on vegetation recovery were studied at different times, up to 18 months after a wildfire. Two months after a 2015 wildfire, 18 study plots were established (three 4-m2 plots for each treatment), vegetation regrowth was monitored and vegetal species richness (S), evenness (IT), density (D), diversity (H′) and maximum diversity (HMax) after 2, 10 and 18 months. The treatments were (1) control, unaffected by 2015 wildfire; (2) no treatment (NT), burned in 2015 wildfire and not managed; (3) managed in 2005 and burned in 2015 (M05B); (4) managed in 2015, 2 months before wildfire (M15B); (5) cut and manual removal after the 2015 wildfire (CR); (6) cut and no trunk removal randomly deposited on topsoil after the 2015 wildfire (CL). All the treatments were carried out in a Pinus halepensis Miller forest. At 10 and 18 months after the wildfire, vegetation recovery was greater in NT, CR and CL plots than in M05B and M15B the plots. By 18 months after the wildfire, Brachypodium retusum (Pers.) P. Beauv. and Rosmarinus officinalis L. were still dominant, especially in M15B, corroborating the belief that pre-fire treatment reduced ecosystem resilience and vegetal recovery compared to the NT and post-fire managed plots. Richness was significantly lower 10 months after wildfire in control plots, and IT was significantly higher in that inventory than previously in M15B. Eighteen months after the wildfire, H′ was significantly lower in M15B. Ten months post-wildfire, HMax was significantly lower in the control plots. Eighteen months after the wildfire, HMax, was significantly higher in CR, CL and M05B than in the control and M15B plots. Overall, pre-fire management was detrimental to post-fire vegetation recovery, while manual post-fire management proved beneficial.


Forest management Vegetation recovery Diversity Richness Evenness 



This study was supported by POSTFIRE_CARE Project (CGL2016-75178-C2-2-R) sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and AEI/FEDER, UE. Support was also received from the FPU Program (FPU 014/00037) sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, the EST16/00183 to a short stay in Mykolas Romeris University (Vilnius, Lithuania) to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports and project 2017SGR1344 of the Generalitat de Catalunya. We also thank the University of Barcelona’s technical services for the English revision of the manuscript. We also thank the Diputación of Barcelona for facilitating our fieldwork in the study area.

Supplementary material

11676_2019_936_MOESM1_ESM.docx (30 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 31 kb)


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© Northeast Forestry University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GRAM (Grup de Recerca Ambiental Mediterrània), Department of GeographyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Environmental Management CentreMykolas Romeris UniversityVilniusLithuania

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