The role of fire in the conservation of Black Pine habitat

The Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) publishes a guide that presents the current knowledge on ecology and dynamics of black pine forests, their relationship with fires and management implications of fire for the conservation of this habitat

Prescribed fires may be used as a management tool in black pine forests in Catalonia. Photo: Jordi Bas

The endemic Mediterranean black pine forests (Pinus nigra Arn.) are a priority habitat for conservation in the European Union. Black pine forests have a special relationship with fire, since fire is a natural element of the ecosystem. However, in the current context of global change, with the abandonment of traditional forest uses and changes in the climate regime, fire is also a major threat for this habitat, which requires changes in the way it is managed.

The main aim of this publication is to provide knowledge to integrate fire into multifunctional forest management, to be applied in the prevention of large wildfires, habitat restoration, sustainable timber production and conservation of ecological values. We also introduce information on fire ecology, the species’ adaptation to low intensity fires and their overall effects on the habitat, and the relationship between forest structure and fire behavior.

The use of prescribed burning as a management tool and the basis for its application and monitoring are also described, as well as the management of natural fires for the conservation of ecosystem dynamics.

This publication is one of the final products of Life Pinassa project and is part of a collection of three guides, together with a publication on best forest management practices and another handbook on the conservation of singular stands.

This guide is available in English, Spanish and Catalan.

Full reference

Domènech, R., Piqué., M., Larrañaga, A., Beltrán, M., Castellnou, M. 2018. The role of fire in the conservation of the black pine (Pinus nigra Arn.) habitat. Life+ PINASSA Project. Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia and Catalan Fire Service, Barcelona. 64 p.