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Fire and biodiversity in the Anthropocene


Luke T. Kelly
Katherine M. Giljohann
Andrea Duane
Núria Aquilué
Sally Archibald
Enric Batllori
Andrew F. Bennett
Stephen T. Buckland
Quim Canelles
Michael F. Clarke
Marie-Josée Fortin
Virgilio Hermoso
Sergi Herrando
Michael A. McCarthy
Alejandra Morán-Ordóñez
Catherine L. Parr
Juli G. Pausas
Trent D. Penman
Adrián Regos
Libby Rumpff
Julianna L. Santos
Annabel L. Smith
Alexandra D. Syphard
Morgan W. Tingley
Lluís Brotons



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Science. 370(6519): eabb0355.


Fire has been a source of global biodiversity for millions of years. However, interactions with anthropogenic drivers such as climate change, land use, and invasive species are changing the nature of fire activity and its impacts. We review how such changes are threatening species with extinction and transforming terrestrial ecosystems. Conservation of Earth’s biological diversity will be achieved only by recognizing and responding to the critical role of fire. In the Anthropocene, this requires that conservation planning explicitly includes the combined effects of human activities and fire regimes. Improved forecasts for biodiversity must also integrate the connections among people, fire, and ecosystems. Such integration provides an opportunity for new actions that could revolutionize how society sustains biodiversity in a time of changing fire activity.


Kelly, Luke T.; Giljohann, Katherine M.; Duane, Andrea; Aquilué, Núria; Archibald, Sally; Batllori, Enric; Bennett, Andrew F.; Buckland, Stephen T.; Canelles, Quim; Clarke, Michael F.; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Hermoso, Virgilio; Herrando, Sergi; Keane, Robert E.; Lake, Frank K.; McCarthy, Michael A.; Morán-Ordóñez, Alejandra; Parr, Catherine L.; Pausas, Juli G.; Penman, Trent D.; Regos, Adrián; Rumpff, Libby; Santos, Julianna L.; Smith, Annabel L.; Syphard, Alexandra D.; Tingley, Morgan W.; Brotons, Lluís. 2020. Fire and biodiversity in the Anthropocene. Science. 370(6519): eabb0355.


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