Pyrophysiology and Wildfire Management

  • Víctor Resco de Dios
Part of the Managing Forest Ecosystems book series (MAFE, volume 36)


In this chapter we further discuss how can pyrophysiology assist us with wildfire management. The overall objective of wildfire management is to reduce the risk to human lives and properties while maintaining the role of fire as a natural process in ecosystems. Wildfire management thus seeks to diminish fuel loads beyond the critical levels that could lead to extremely large fires and endanger civil security. Pyrophysiology may help to achieve this goal by developing economic and sustainable land management alternatives that lead to fire-resistant landscapes. Pyrophysiology also informs on which are the most appropriate fuel reduction treatments (e.g., mechanical vs prescribed burn) or in the ways to achieve fuel discontinuities (e.g., green firebreaks) based on vegetation physiological responses. It is important to note that pyrophysiology may only provide a limited information on extremely large fire behavior because fuel traits affecting flammability often act over small scales (e.g., leaf). Fire behavior models similarly show limited predictive capabilities over large fires, and consideration of physiological mechanisms may render more realistic predictions of diurnal, seasonal, and annual fuel dynamics but to limited increases in model fit. We end this chapter by discussing how pyrophysiology is of relevance for deciding the most appropriate post-fire restoration actions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Víctor Resco de Dios
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Life Science and EngineeringSouthwest University of Science and TechnologyMianyangChina
  2. 2.Crop and Forest Sciences and JRU CTFC-AGROTECNIOUniversitat de LleidaLleidaSpain

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