Some studies on the western Alps, for example, show that repeated

Some studies on the western Alps, for example, show that repeated prescribed burning with a short fire return

interval may have negative effects on fauna ( Lemonnier-Darcemont, 2003 and Lyet et al., 2009), and favour alien vegetation encroachment in the short-term ( Lonati et al., 2009). Fire has been a driver of landscape evolution and a mirror of human activities in the Alpine region. This review paper is intended to assist in creating and shaping the future through understanding fire history of the Alps and its fire traditions, as well as its specificities. Due to vulnerability of high mountain environments, the Alpine vegetation can be used as an indicator for global change and climate warming in particular (Pauli et al., 2003). For example, the check details advent of a new generation of large wildfires at the Alpine belt could mirror a more general trend towards increasing global warming. The climate warming recorded in the Alpine region from 1890 to 2000 results in double the one assessed at global level (Böhm et al., 2001); the environmental impact brought by a further increase of air temperature might lead to very serious consequences, e.g., affecting the water cycle, the occurrence of avalanches, floods and landslides, the ecological heritage, GSK2118436 mouse the vertical shift of the tree line (Grace et al., 2002), and worsening fire

severity. In this key, the role of the Alps in monitoring climate change evolution is particularly valuable in investigating potential human-induced, and human-affecting, developments, so strictly associated to the Anthropocene. Current global processes, chiefly climate and land use Tyrosine-protein kinase BLK changes, suggest that a complete removal of such

a disturbance from the Alpine area is neither feasible nor advisable. Consequently, we are likely to be forced again to live with fire and to apply traditional knowledge to the principles of fire – and land – management, namely creating resilient landscapes, adapted communities and adequate fire management policies (Dellasala et al., 2004). The unevenness of human population density in the Alpine region is a key issue in defining ad hoc management strategies. On the one hand, land abandonment of marginal areas, alongside climate anomalies, is leading to a new generation of unmanageable large fires (third fire generation sensu Castellnou and Miralles, 2009), where lack of accessibility and fuels build-up are the main constraints, with a greater effect than the often blamed climate change. This will pose a challenge in the future, for instance when shrinking government budgets might result in less capacity of fire services. Furthermore, unbalanced fire regimes such as fire exclusion or very frequent surreptitious use of fire could determine a loss of both species richness and landscape diversity, as it is happening with alpine heathlands ( Lonati et al., 2009 and Borghesio, 2014). Using planned fire for land management and fire prevention ( Fernandes et al.

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