We discuss two specific examples of Process Restoration, fire and inundation regime, in the following sections. Wildfire is a primary disturbance agent affecting the structure and composition of many forest ecosystems and fire is essential to ecosystem functioning where species have evolved to withstand burning and facilitate fire spread (Myers, 2006 and Meyn et al., 2007). Such fire-dependent ecosystems include many coniferous this website boreal, temperate, and tropical forests; Eucalyptus forests; most vegetation types
in Mediterranean climates; some Quercus dominated forests; grasslands, savannas, and marshes; and palm forests ( Myers, 2006). Even so, such ecosystems are vulnerable
to fire regimes altered by humans (e.g., Briant et al., 2010, Armenteras et al., 2013 and Laurance et al., 2014). Natural fire regimes have been altered in many fire-adapted forest types and restoring fire is an objective for ecological or safety reasons (Agee, 2002 and Keeley et al., 2009; for additonal examples, see Table 1). Climate change that results in drier, warmer climates has the potential to increase fire occurrence and intensify fire behavior and thus may alter the distribution buy Selumetinib of fire- dependent, sensitive, and influenced ecosystems (Myers, 2006). Recently, persistent weather anomalies, such as prolonged warm and dry seasons or extended drought, have contributed to a phenomenon of very intense, destructive megafires (Williams, 2013 and Liu et al., 2014) and the effects are amplified by former land management that focused on fire suppression, which reduced fire frequency but now why contributes to increased fire intensity (Williams, 2013). Although megafires seem to be worst in dry forest types with slow decomposition and long-term fire exclusion (Williams, 2013), altered fire regimes
also occur when wetter forests are fragmented, resulting in drier conditions at the edge that allow escaped (or intentionally set) agricultural fires to encroach and gradually reduce the area of wet tropical forests (Myers, 2006 and Cochrane and Laurance, 2008). Similarly, invasion by grasses and herbs that enhance fire spread results in the fire-grass cycle that reduces forest cover (D’Antonio and Vitousek, 1992). Fire regime, the long-term presence of fire in an ecosystem, is mainly characterized by fire frequency (or fire return interval) and fire severity and can be classified as understory, stand-replacement, or mixed (Brown and Smith, 2000). Understory-regime fires generally do not kill the dominant vegetation or substantially change its structure, whereas a stand-replacement fire does. Mixed-regime fires can either cause selective mortality in dominant vegetation or not depending on a species’ susceptibility to fire.