Fire

Fires may be the result of natural phenomena such as lightning or they may be man-induced. Usually natural fires are an integral part of plant community development and influence such things as soil nutrient availability and biological diversity. In contrast, uncontrolled or wildfires disrupt such processes and can have a catastrophic impacts. The vast majority of wildfires are intentionally set and often occur in conifer forests. In recent years extended droughts, together with the rapidly expanding exploitation of tropical forests and the demand for the conversion of forests to other land uses, have resulted in a dramatic increase in wildfires. While some conifers have evolved to be fire dependent by having serotinous cones that open and release their seed in response to fire, their populations are so small or fragmented that even natural fires may be catastrophic. This is particularly evident in areas with a Mediterranean climate. It is the introduction of inappropriate fire regimes (frequency, severity, or seasonal timing) that can have the most severe impact.

Taxa in the category - Fire:

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Abies delavayi subsp. fansipanensis (Q.P.Xiang) Rushforth

This subspecies, described in 1997, is restricted to a single mountain in Northern Việt Nam. The main threats are its small population size and restricted distribution which make it potentially susceptible to stochastic events.  Read full species entry >

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Abies fabri (Mast.) W. G. Craib

Endemic to south-central China where acid rain is the most serious threat and is causing decline or death to many of the trees Read full species entry >

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Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.

Distributed in three States of eastern USA but as a result of severe infestation from the Balsam woolly adelgid, only one population remains unaffected Read full species entry >

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Abies hidalgensis Debreczy, Rácz & Guizar

Endemic to the State of Hidalgo in eastern Mexico where fire is a potential threat to the small population Read full species entry >

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Abies kawakamii (Hayata) T.Itô

A subtropical alpine fir restricted to a few areas in Taiwan. Climate change is likely to have a significant impact on this species. Currently it is assessed as Near Threatened Read full species entry >

Mature cones
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Abies nebrodensis (Lojac.) Mattei

A narrow endemic native to the Madonie Mountains of Sicily where the entire population consists of only 30 individuals. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo Boiss.

The Spanish fir has two subspecies distributed in southern Spain and northern Morocco where threats include fire, grazing and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo var. marocana (Trabut) Ceballos & Bolanos

The Moroccan fir is restricted to two small forests in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco where over a period of 60 years it has suffered a 70% decline. Read full species entry >

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