Calluna vulgaris-dominated heathlands are globally important habitats and extremely scarce outside of northwest Europe. Rotational fire, grazing and cutting by local farmers were dominant features of past heathland management throughout Europe but have been abandoned, altering the historical fire regime and habitat structure. We briefly review research on Calluna heathland conservation management and provide the background and methodology for a long-term research project that will be used to define prescribed fire regimes in combination with grazing and cutting, for management of Calluna heathlands in north-west Italy. We outline the ecological and research issues that drive the fire experiment, making explicit the experimental design and the hypotheses that will be tested.We demonstrate howAdaptive Management can be used to inform decisions about the nature of fire prescriptions where little formal knowledge exists. Experimental plots ranging from 600 to 2500m2 are treated according to one of eight alternative treatments (various combinations of fire, grazing and cutting), each replicated four times. To date, all treatments have been applied for 4 years, from 2005 to 2008, and a continuation is planned. Detailed measurement of fire characteristics is made to help interpret ecological responses at a microplot scale. The results of the experiment will be fed back into the experimental design and used to inform heathland management practice in north-west Italy.

Developing an Adaptive Management approach to prescribed burning: a long-term heathland conservation experiment in north-west Italy

ASCOLI, DAVIDE;GORLIER, Alessandra;LOMBARDI, Giampiero;LONATI, MICHELE;MARZANO, RAFFAELLA;BOVIO, Giovanni;CAVALLERO, Andrea
2009

Abstract

Calluna vulgaris-dominated heathlands are globally important habitats and extremely scarce outside of northwest Europe. Rotational fire, grazing and cutting by local farmers were dominant features of past heathland management throughout Europe but have been abandoned, altering the historical fire regime and habitat structure. We briefly review research on Calluna heathland conservation management and provide the background and methodology for a long-term research project that will be used to define prescribed fire regimes in combination with grazing and cutting, for management of Calluna heathlands in north-west Italy. We outline the ecological and research issues that drive the fire experiment, making explicit the experimental design and the hypotheses that will be tested.We demonstrate howAdaptive Management can be used to inform decisions about the nature of fire prescriptions where little formal knowledge exists. Experimental plots ranging from 600 to 2500m2 are treated according to one of eight alternative treatments (various combinations of fire, grazing and cutting), each replicated four times. To date, all treatments have been applied for 4 years, from 2005 to 2008, and a continuation is planned. Detailed measurement of fire characteristics is made to help interpret ecological responses at a microplot scale. The results of the experiment will be fed back into the experimental design and used to inform heathland management practice in north-west Italy.
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE
18
727
735
D. Ascoli; R. Beghin; R. Ceccato; A. Gorlier; G. Lombardi; M. Lonati; R. Marzano; G. Bovio; A. Cavallero
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/59774
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