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Substantial and increasing global losses of timber-producing forest due to wildfires

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Repository DOI


Type

Article

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Abstract

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pOne-third of global forest is harvested for timber, generating ~US$1.5 trillion annually. High-severity wildfires threaten this timber production. Here we combine global maps of logging activity and stand-replacing wildfires to assess how much timber-producing forest has been lost to wildfire this century, and quantify spatio-temporal changes in annual area lost. Between 2001 and 2021, 18.5–24.7 million hectares of timber-producing forest—an area the size of Great Britain—experienced stand-replacing wildfires, with extensive burning in the western USA and Canada, Siberian Russia, Brazil and Australia. Annual burned area increased significantly throughout the twenty-first century, pointing to substantial wildfire-driven timber losses under increasingly severe climate change. To meet future timber demand, producers must adopt new management strategies and emerging technologies to combat the increasing threat of wildfires.</jats:p>

Description

Keywords

37 Earth Sciences, 3709 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience, 15 Life on Land

Journal Title

Nature Geoscience

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1752-0894
1752-0908

Volume Title

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC