Wildfire regimes affected by global change have been the cause of major concern in recent years. Both direct prevention (e.g., fuel management planning) and land governance strategies (e.g., agroforestry development) can have an indirect regulatory effect on wildfires. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that active land planning and management in Italy have mitigated wildfire impacts in terms of loss of ecosystem services and forest cover, and burned wildland-urban interface, from 2007 to 2017. At the national scale, we assessed the effect size of major potential fire drivers such as climate, weather, flammability, socio-economic descriptors, land use changes, and proxies for land governance (e.g., European funds for rural development, investments in sustainable forest management, agro-pastoral activities), including potential interactions, on fire-related impacts via Random Forest modelling and Generalized Additive Mixed Model. Agro-forest districts (i.e., aggregations of neighbouring municipalities with homogeneous forest and agricultural characteristics) were used as spatial units of analysis. Our results confirm that territories with more active land governance show lower wildfire impacts, even under severe flammability and climatic conditions. This study supports current regional, national, and European strategies towards “fire resistant and resilient landscapes” by fostering agro-forestry, rural development, and nature conservation integrated policies.

Active governance of agro-pastoral, forest and protected areas mitigates wildfire impacts in Italy

Spadoni G. L.;Sallustio L.;Francini S.;Strollo A.;Chirici G.;Corona P.;Marchetti M.;Motta R.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Wildfire regimes affected by global change have been the cause of major concern in recent years. Both direct prevention (e.g., fuel management planning) and land governance strategies (e.g., agroforestry development) can have an indirect regulatory effect on wildfires. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that active land planning and management in Italy have mitigated wildfire impacts in terms of loss of ecosystem services and forest cover, and burned wildland-urban interface, from 2007 to 2017. At the national scale, we assessed the effect size of major potential fire drivers such as climate, weather, flammability, socio-economic descriptors, land use changes, and proxies for land governance (e.g., European funds for rural development, investments in sustainable forest management, agro-pastoral activities), including potential interactions, on fire-related impacts via Random Forest modelling and Generalized Additive Mixed Model. Agro-forest districts (i.e., aggregations of neighbouring municipalities with homogeneous forest and agricultural characteristics) were used as spatial units of analysis. Our results confirm that territories with more active land governance show lower wildfire impacts, even under severe flammability and climatic conditions. This study supports current regional, national, and European strategies towards “fire resistant and resilient landscapes” by fostering agro-forestry, rural development, and nature conservation integrated policies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11695/130837
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