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Historical Fires Induced Deforestation in Relict Scots Pine Forests during the Late 19th Century

1
Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (IPE-CSIC), 50192 Zaragoza, Spain
2
EiFAB-iuFOR, Universidad de Valladolid, 42004 Soria, Spain
3
Department of Geography, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
4
Environmental Archaeology, Institute of History (CCHS-CSIC), 28037 Madrid, Spain
5
Departamento de Sistemas y Recursos Naturales, Escuela de Ingeniería de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Grant Harley
Received: 21 April 2021 / Revised: 11 May 2021 / Accepted: 15 May 2021 / Published: 18 May 2021
Mountain forests are subjected to several pressures including historical land-use changes and climate warming which may lead to shifts in wildfire severity negatively impacting tree species with low post-fire growth resilience. This is the case of relict Mediterranean Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) forests in the Sierra de Gredos mountains (central Spain). We reconstructed the historical fire regime of these forests since 1700 by using paleoecology, historical ecology and dendroecology. We detected an increase in charcoal accumulation rate and coprophilous fungi in peat bogs during the late 19th century when the pine pollen percentage sharply decreased, historical records of fire peaked and many trees showed growth suppressions. We inferred an increased wildfire incidence during the late 19th century, which could have shaped the current distribution of Scots pine forests. This shift in fire-forest interactions can be explained by the uncontrolled use of mountain forests and grasslands due to the dissolution of “Mesta”, one of the major and lasting transhumance livestock associations in Europe. Integrating historical human and climate influences on fire regimes allows decomposing the resilience and conservation components of relict forests. View Full-Text
Keywords: dendroecology; growth suppression; historical ecology; paleoecology; Pinus sylvestris; resilience; Sierra de Gredos dendroecology; growth suppression; historical ecology; paleoecology; Pinus sylvestris; resilience; Sierra de Gredos
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MDPI and ACS Style

Camarero, J.J.; Sangüesa-Barreda, G.; Montiel-Molina, C.; Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger, R.; Ortega, P.; Génova, M.; López-Sáez, J.A. Historical Fires Induced Deforestation in Relict Scots Pine Forests during the Late 19th Century. Fire 2021, 4, 29. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4020029

AMA Style

Camarero JJ, Sangüesa-Barreda G, Montiel-Molina C, Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger R, Ortega P, Génova M, López-Sáez JA. Historical Fires Induced Deforestation in Relict Scots Pine Forests during the Late 19th Century. Fire. 2021; 4(2):29. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4020029

Chicago/Turabian Style

Camarero, J. J., Gabriel Sangüesa-Barreda, Cristina Montiel-Molina, Reyes Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger, Paula Ortega, Mar Génova, and José A. López-Sáez 2021. "Historical Fires Induced Deforestation in Relict Scots Pine Forests during the Late 19th Century" Fire 4, no. 2: 29. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4020029

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