Which of the Following is Not an Impact of Wildfires

Which of the Following is Not an Impact of Wildfires.

The Impact of Forest Burn down on Woods Biodiversity in the Indian Himalayas (Uttaranchal)


Amit Parashar

and Sas Biswas


Frequent fires in the Himalayan region of Uttaranchal in the Indian Himalayas have been blamed for forest deterioration. It is true that frequent fires on large scales cause air pollution, mar quality of stream water, threaten biodiversity and spoil the aesthetics of an area, but fire plays an important role in forest ecosystem dynamics. Moreover, it is non fire, only other anthropogenic activities plus fire that are degrading the forest of the Indian Himalayas. In the nowadays study the role of burn in shaping forest structure and composition is analysed. If burn is managed wisely it can exist used as the cheapest ways of forest management. For this purpose different fire characteristics are assessed together with their interrelationship with forest flora.


Fire has long been integral function of the forest environment and has played an important role in shaping the flora and fauna. A fire may be either beneficial or detrimental to individuals of a particular species but the effect of a single fire is not equally environmentally significant as a change to the fire government (Smith, 1995).

The social, economical and ecological cost of fires has demonstrated that the resource many governments accept to reply to woods fires are often overwhelmed. A UN mission report on the 1997 Indonesian forest fires concluded that the blazes had “an of import international dimension in relation to astringent, transboundary air pollution, and the large scale devastation of the unique aspects of the existing biodiversity which represents a world heritage” (UNDAC 1997).

In Indian context according to a report by Srivastava (1989), during the 6th Five-Year Plan (1980-85) 17852 fires were reported, affecting an expanse of five.7 million ha, or an annual average of some 1.14 million ha. Inventories conducted by the Forest Survey of Bharat show that on boilerplate 55% of wood area in India is afflicted by burn and 78 percent by grazing. After, trivial regeneration occurs in 72 pct of forested areas (Ministry of Surroundings and Forest, 1997). The annual losses from forest fires in Republic of india for the entire country have been moderately estimated at Rs 440 crores (United states$ 107 one thousand thousand). This gauge does not include the loss suffered in the form of biodiversity, nutrient and soil moisture and other intangible benefits. Bharat witnessed the most severe forest fires in during the summer of 1995 in the hills of Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh in north west Himalaya. An area of 677,700 ha was affected past fires. The quantifiable timber loss was around Rs. 17.50 crores (US$ 43 1000000).

In the nowadays study fire is studied as amanuensis of transformation which affects biotic and abiotic component of ecosystem and thus altering productive, protective function of a wood. This is highlighted in the ecosystem fragmentation, alteration in ecosystem structure and office, biodiversity condition of an surface area. An attempt is fabricated to study the brusk and long term effect of fire on biodiversity status.

The study expanse is characterized by hilly and mountainous terrain supporting varied forest types and composition controlled by altitude, landuse/state encompass types along with perpetual snow encompass on the mountain peaks. Variation in distance is quite appreciable ranging from about 549m to 3750m. In that location are no perpetually snow-covered areas in this range. The area under forest cover represents 56.14% out of its total geographical area. Pino is the dominant forest type followed by oak, oak mixed and deciduous. Pine is most susceptible to fire almost every year particularly near domicile/agricultural patches.

The main objective of the investigation is to understand the role of fire in shaping ecosystem with emphasis on long and short term impact of fire, main stress on biodiversity by fire and other biotic/abiotic factors in combination with burn down which cause biodiversity loss.

To restore more than normal fire dynamics to a particular region, managers demand to know how fire has historically affected the local system, and how it functions today. Such can course footing for new policies aimed at restoring fire cycles that will present a lower take a chance to human life and holding, and help safeguard the stability and multifariousness of ecosystems. Forest managers must take a holistic, long-term mural-level view, and show change in itself is inevitable. Considerable progress is attainable, but requires collaboration between ecologists and wood managers.

Fire a necessary evil!

Any fire on a forestland which is non beingness used as a tool in forest protection and management in accordance with an authorized plan may be referred to equally a wildfire (Evidence and Clarke 1978, Artsybashev 1986). Burn down alone has rarely destroyed a landscape, evolutionary adaptations have seen to that. But burn and hoof, fire and axe, burn down and turn, fire and sword; all magnify the effects past altering the timing of the burn down, its intensity, the fuels on which it feeds, or the biological potential for exploiting the aftermath of a burn (Chaturvedi 1999).Spatial and temporal variation in severity within a fire can have long-lasting impacts on the structure and species composition of post-fire communities and the potential for future disturbances (Ryan 2002). Plant species surviving fires known as pyrophytes coppice and have responses resulting into offspring from seed. An individual plant may be exposed to several fires, each with different fire characteristics and fire effects. To make up one’s mind the significance of adaptive traits consideration must also be given to the life bike of the species and fire regimes to which the species is subjected.

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Fire frequency determines the floristic composition of an area by selecting species, which will continue to occupy a site. A species can be removed if fire occurs too often, also early on, or late in its life bicycle. For instance, a non-sprouting species may be lost if fire occurs before seed has been produced, or if burn down occurs after the species has died and seed pool is unavailable (Chandler
et al.
1983). Two strategies typically characterize the response of dissimilar species to fire frequencies- those that sprout tin can withstand repeated fires while those that produce seed are favored by infrequent fire (Keeley 1981). Studies carried out in the present area of investigation depicts that fires help in maintaining the open nature of the barrens by retarding woody plant growth. Fire frequencies determine the overstorey of coniferous composition, besides developing a natural space amid the stands. Fire may also play a part in recycling nutrients from the ground-layer vegetation and litter to the overstorey trees, thereby counteracting the infertile substrates and arrested disuse (Vogl 1974). Areas nether larger burned patches have higher cover of tree seedlings and shrubs, greater densities of opportunistic species, and lower species richness than smaller patches (Turner
et al.
1997). The size and shape of a burned surface area make up one’s mind in function the number of new habitats that tin be used past animals. Animals can invade new habitats and proliferate because they have relatively few contacts with other animals belonging to their own species or other species.

Outcome of Forest Fire on Woods Biodiversity

Grazing and fire are linked to plant invasions. Gaps created by loftier-intensity fires are especially susceptible to invasion by exotic species e.g.
Imperata cylindrica
quickly recovers after fire and may respond with an increase in comprehend. Invasive species depletes the biodiversity of an area through allelopathic path ways.

T. bellirica, T. tomentosa
which is having highly commercial and medicinal value respectively is facing astringent problem due to forest fire leaving behind poor stocking. Species similar
Lantana camara,
L. indica,,
Eupatorium glandulosum, Parthenium hysterophorus,, Cassia tora,
C occidentalis, etc. accept invaded several of the significant sites of forest biodiversity conservation.

Many believe that fires are bad simply they are actually necessary to promote multifariousness (Douglas 1971, Kovacic 1998). Forest species change in composition after fire, this may be practiced or bad depending on the utility of the stands that preceded and succeeded the fires (Lutz 1956).

The state of the ecosystem, namely the ready of fire regimes that prevail in a mural, pre-conditions the responses of biodiversity and ecosystem processes to any particular burn. Awareness of this fundamental principle and the concept of burn regimes is a mandatory pre-requisite for decision-making and evaluation of ecological effects of whatsoever fire (Bradstock 2000), for east.g. a high intensity burn in a mature forest will not be a disaster provided that some office of the habitat provides corridor for complimentary movement of animals. Before considering fire to exist disaster nosotros take to consider following implications on forest values (Show 1953):

ane. Protective Value:
increased erosion/sedimentation, introduction of weeds etc.

2. Present and Potential Value:
loss of recreational utilise, loss of visual amenity, changed water yield and quality, extinction of species.

iii. With What caste of difficulty tin can forest exist re-established after burn down
e.g. let the tree species to persist at a site only not the hollow dependent mammals, decease of ´charismatic’ animals

4. Is future protection increase in difficulty after forest fire?

Role of Fire in Forest Direction

Overly simplified fire prevention propaganda which gave recognition only to the subversive effects of fire (Vélez 1990) led also to a school of thought that all fire on wild-lands was bad and that even accepted uses of fire must be tolerated only every bit a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. How can fire help forests? The respond depends on the nature of the ecosystem, the weather, and the amount of fuel available(Kayll 1974, Viro 1974, Terry
et al. 1996), but in full general, controlled fires can:

i. Reduce the build-upward of fuel, and thus the intensity of future burns.

2. Recycle nutrients jump upwardly in litter.

iii. Reduce competition, allowing existing trees to grow larger. To control the encroachment or development of undesirable plants and encourage desirable food plants such as legumes for both fodder and soil improvements, or shrubs.

4. Leave snags that provide nesting spots for woodpeckers and other birds.

5. To remove unpalatable growth remaining from previous seasons.

6. To stimulate growth during seasons when in that location is trivial green grazing.

7. To control or destroy insect and disease.

8. To aid in the better distribution of animals on a range or management unit of measurement, including bird habitat.

nine. To stimulate seed production or opening of cones and fix seedbeds for seeding, either naturally or artificially.

10. To establish fire breaks in a system of protection from wildfire.

xi. To provide preparation for fire fighters and fire researchers.


To judge biodiversity quadrates were laid in sites, which had history of woods fire of different intensities, and in sites with like condition i.due east. natural forests where sites escaped fire. The data was analysed and based on that a list of species was prepared depicting response of fire. For each species Importance Value Alphabetize (IVI) was calculated. Importance Value Index: IVI- which
is the total sum of relative density, relative frequency and relative authorization was practical.
For herbs data were analysed for frequency and Shannon-Wiener variety alphabetize.
This alphabetize measures variety by the following formula:

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Where, H= the variety of species, S= the number of species, Pi = proportion of individuals of the full sample belonging to the ith
species. This index takes into considerations the number besides as the relative affluence of species.

Graph 1: Comparative Analysis of IVIs (Trees) of burnt and unburnt area of Narendranagar

Graph three: Comparative Analysis of IVIs (Trees) of burnt and unburnt expanse of Dhanaulti

Graph 3: Comparative Analysis of IVIs (Trees) of burnt and unburnt surface area of Dat Ka Mandir

Result and Conclusion

Fire exclusion programs often issue in exceptionally subversive fires by permitting abnormal fuel buildups and vegetational deterioration. In the case of Tehri-Garhwal Himalayas, field information assay suggest that low intensity surface or basis burn were less detrimental to forests of Sal (Shorea robusta), Teak(Tectona
grandis), Chir Pino (Pinus
roxburghii) trees but herbs and shrubs were most suffered. Bare soil was devoid of surface cover which makes it susceptible to soil erosion. Some trees suffered fire scars which were vulnerable spots for infestation by insects and pests. It was also observed that information technology is not burn down alone responsible for degradation of area but it’s the combination of burn down and grazing; because grazing is quite ubiquitous in Upper Himalaya especially goat, sheep rearing which are browsing animal causing more damage to regeneration by devouring even smallest twig of plant. Secondly goat and sheep can approach difficult terrain and making area devoid of vegetation, thus increasing more than damage to forest by virtue of landslides. Similarly grazing by cattle in lower reaches of Himalaya has major impact on soil compaction, destroying of new regeneration past their hooves and grazing. On the footing of quadrate written report for assessment of status of biodiversity of flora species, it is clearly evident that fire control floristic dynamics of the surface area; like in area of Asarori range, on second visit later 2 months of fire a prolific regeneration of obnoxious climbers,
Lantana camara
and other weeds was evident.
Shorea robusta
suffered the least only its seedlings were heavily damaged and only few resprouted from coppice. This can exist another problem related with regeneration of Sal. Also Sal suffer dieback problem in the region and burn down aggravates it. Immediate event of fire on animal was that they migrated to nearby human being settlement areas for want of food, water and shelter. Chittal were sighted drinking water near roads.

In Narendra nagar site in Uttaranchal himalaya
Shorea robusta
was the successful survival later on fire merely
Cassia fistula
suffered to certain extent on comparison with unburnt site. Amongst the shrubs
zizipus species
has taken advantage of burn every bit it tin survive xerophytic atmospheric condition after fire and can grow well from subconscious buds shoots virtually base which escape fire. Some of the species, which were totally exterminated, were
vitex negundo, hypericum species. Thus, fire has decreased floral diversity of burnt expanse to a considerable extent.

In temperate forest of Dhanulti himalaya
was the successful survivor of fire, this is because of its adaptive traits such as chambered bark, self pruning habit, serotinous cones etc.
is more susceptible to damage by fire that is why it is confined to moist localities of the surface area.

Amongst the undergrowth of pine and deodar forests the fire impairment about of the species similar
Berberis species
as information technology has low moisture content in tissues but information technology reinvaded area by ways of bachelor seed bank. In the report area information technology was observed that upper soil flora and animal and microbial rich humus was either completely or partially damaged depending upon locality factor, fire characteristics. It was as well observed that ground cover was having college percentage of invasives with gregarious growth, for eastward.g.,
Sarcoccocoa species, Princepia species, Dapenae species
etc. Basis was covered with layer of chir pino needle with hindered further growth of other species and most of import of all creating favourable condition for frequent revisit of fire.

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Overall biodiversity status in all three sites of burnt areas was significantly less than unburnt sites. This is axiomatic from the comparison of Shannon-Wiener
alphabetize for burnt and unburnt areas of Dhanaulti, Narendra nagar, Asarori range wood. For this some of the possible explanation tin can be on most of the sites frequent fire was intentionally set upwardly for new flush of grasses. This suggests that uncontrolled grazing is rife in those areas, so it is cumulative effect of frequent fires and uncontrolled grazing which has depleted the biodiversity of the area. Moreover, fire increased accessibility to these areas so people used to collect Non-Timber Forest Products from these areas which has considerable touch on on floristic composition.

Recommendation for need and priorities

For successful use of fire equally a management tool in sustainable forestry practices information technology is must to carry out fire-prevention measures in frequent fire decumbent areas as integrated element of forestry in accordance with scientific norms; improve airborne woods burn down monitoring and ground-based fire detection and patrolling. Information technology is obvious due to difficult terrain, inaccessibility, lack of technical staff regular patrolling of the fire decumbent area is not possible; this can be overcome by suitable silvicultural measures employing rehabilitation of burnt sites with broad leaved evergreen trees. For successful rehabilitation of burnt sites utilize to the full extent the regeneration potential from unburned forest fragments. Farther need of the work is elucidated as follows:

1. Establish plantations but in accessible sites past using fast-growing species in club to speed up carbon sequestration.

2. Concentrate and prioritize planning and implementation of wood cultures in protection forests in water catchment regions and unburned forest fragments with a high protective value for habitat rehabilitation of rare and the nearly valuable wildlife animate being species.

three. Livestock grazing breaks upwardly potential fuel and establishes trails through the forest that tin can be used as burn breaks, but there is need of controlled grazing below carrying capacity of ecosystem.


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in Forest Burn Behaviour and Furnishings: Vol 1. A Wiley-Interscience Publicaiton, John Wiley & Sons.:132, 146, 153-155, 203, 255.

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Lutz H. J. (1956). Ecological furnishings of forest fire in the interior of Alaska. Technical bulletin No. 1133. USDA.

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Viro P. J. (1974). ‘Effect of forest fire on Soil’ in T. T, Kozlowski, C. Due east. Ahlgren (Eds.), Fire and Ecosystem. Academic Press.:10-12.

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Botany Division, Forest Inquiry Constitute, Dehradun-248195, Uttaranchal, India. Email:
[email protected]

Which of the Following is Not an Impact of Wildfires

Source: https://www.fao.org/3/XII/0358-B1.htm

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