Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31340
Ecosystem Post-Wildfire Effects of Thasos Island

Authors: George D. Ranis, Valasia Iakovoglou, George N. Zaimes


Fires is one of the main types of disturbances that shape ecosystems in the Mediterranean region. However nowadays, climate alterations towards higher temperatures result on increased levels of fire intensity, frequency and spread as well as difficulties for natural regeneration to occur. Thasos Island is one of the Greek islands that has experienced those problems. Since 1984, a series of wildfires led to the reduction of forest cover from 61.6% to almost 20%. The negative impacts were devastating in many different aspects for the island. The absence of plant cover, post-wildfire precipitation and steep slopes were the major factors that induced severe soil erosion and intense floods. That also resulted to serious economic problems to the local communities and the inability of the burnt areas to regenerate naturally. Despite the substantial amount of published work regarding Thasos wildfires, there is no information related to post-wildfire effects on factors such as soil erosion. More research related to post-fire effects should help to an overall assessment of the negative impacts of wildfires on land degradation through processes such as soil erosion and flooding.

Keywords: Erosion, land degradation, Mediterranean islands, regeneration, Thasos, wildfires.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1816


[1] Papanastasis, V. 1978. Potential of certain range species for improvement of burned brushland in Greece. Proc.1st International Rangeland Congress, pp.715-717.
[2] Arianoutsou, M., Papanastasis, V. P. (2004) Ecology, Conservation and Management of Mediterranean Climate Ecosystems. Millpress, Rotterdam.
[3] Espirito-Santo, M. D., Rego, F., Costa, J. C. (1993) Vegetation dynamics in the Serra dos Canderros (Central Portugal). In: Fire in Mediterranean Ecosystems (edited by L. Trabaud and R. Prodon). Ecosystem Research Report no 5, Commission of the European Communities. Brussels - Luxembourg, pp: 29-46.
[4] Ispikoudis, I., Kakouros, P., Arianatsou, M., Papanastasis, V.P. (1999) Effects of pastoral activities on woody plant distribution and landscape diversity in Western Crete. In: V.P. Papanastasis, J. Frame and A.S. Nastis (Eds), Grasslands and Woody Plants in Europe, pp 287-293, EGF, Grassland Science in Europe, Thessaloniki and Reading, 437p.
[5] Naveh, Z. (1991) The role of fire in Mediterranean vegetation. Botanica Chronika 10: 385-405.
[6] Mendoza, I., Zamora, R., Castro, J. (2009) A seedling experiment for testing tree community recruitment under variable environments: Implications for forest regeneration and conservation in Mediterranean habitats. Biological Conservation, 142, pp. 1401-1499.
[7] Sharma, S., Rikhari, H. C. (1997) Forest fire in the central Himalaya: climate and recovery of trees. Int J Biometeorol. 40: 63-70.
[8] Lekakis, J. (1993) Social and ecological correlates of rural fires in Greece. Journal of Environmental Management 43: 41-47.
[9] Spanos, I., Daskalakou, E., Thanos, K. (2000) Postfire regeneration in Pinus brutia forest ecosystems of Thassos island. Acta Oecologica, 21, pp. 13-20.
[10] Bestmann, M., Kunze, K., Matthews, A. (2000) Evolution of a calcite marble shear zone complex on Thassos Island, Greece: Microstructural and textural fabrics and their kinematic significance. Journal of Structural Geology, 22, pp. 1789–1807.
[11] Campbell, R. E., Baker, M. B., Fiolliott, P. F., Larson, F.R., Avery, C. C. (1977) Wildfire Effects on a Ponderosa Pine Ecosystem: An Arizona Case Study. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experimental Station, Fort Collins, Colorado. Research Paper RM-191, 21 pp.
[12] Trabaud, L. (2002) Post-fire vegetation recovery and dynamics in the Mediterranean area. In: Pardini, G., Pinto, J. (Eds.), Fire, Landscape and Biodiversity: an Appraisal of the Effects and Effectiveness. UdG, Girona, Diversitas, pp. 39–55.
[13] DeBano, L. F., Neary, D. G., Folliott, P. F. (2005) Soil physical properties. In: Neary, D. G., Ryan, K. C., DeBano, L. F. (Eds.), Wildland Fire in Ecosystems. Effects of Fire on Soil and Water. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-42, Volume 4. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, pp. 29–52.
[14] Robichaud, P. R. (2000) Fire effects on infiltration rates after prescribed fire in Northern Rocky Mountain forests, USA. Journal of Hydrology, 231–232, pp. 220–229.
[15] Woods, S. W., Balfour, V. N. (2008) The effect of ash on runoff and erosion after a severe forest wildfire, Montana, USA. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 17, pp. 535–548.
[16] Cerdà, A., Robichaud, P. R. (2009) Fire Effects on Soils and Restoration Strategies. Science Publishers, Enfield, NH. 569 pp.
[17] Shakesby, R. A., Doerr, S. H. (2006) Wildfire as a hydrological and geomorphological agent. Earth Science Reviews, 74, pp. 269–307.
[18] Ursino, N., Rulli, M. C. (2010) Combined effect of fire and water scarcity on vegetation patterns in arid lands. Ecological Modelling, 221, pp. 2353–2362.
[19] Loaiciga, H. A., D. Pedreros and D. Roberts. 2001. Wildfire–streamflow interactions in a chaparral watershed. Advances in Environmental Research, 5, pp. 295–305.
[20] Rubio, J. L., Forteza, J., Andreu, V., Cerni, R. (1997) Soil profile characteristics influencing runoff and soil erosion after forest fire: a case study (Valencia, Spain). Soil Technology 11: 67–78.
[21] Martin, D. A., Moody, J. A. (2001) Comparison of soil infiltration rates in burned and unburned mountainous watersheds. Hydrological Processes, 15, pp. 2893–2903.
[22] Rodríguez Avellanas, J. M., Vicén Velilla, F. J., Badía Villas, D., Ascaso Martorell, J. (2000) Efecto del incendio forestal sobre la sucesión vegetal y erosión en los montes de Castejón de Valdejasa (Zaragoza). Geórgica, 7, pp. 55–68.
[23] Vega, J. A., Díaz-Fierros, F. (1987) Wildfire effects on soil erosion. Ecologia Mediterranea, 13 (4), pp. 119–125.
[24] Connaughton, C. A. (1935) Forest fire and accelerated erosion. Journal of Forestry, 33, pp. 751–752.