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Ecosystem Post-Wildfire Effects of Thasos Island

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

Abstract:

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: Land Degradation, Regeneration, erosion, wildfires, Mediterranean islands, Thasos

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1109892

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