GFMC: European Fire in Nature Conservation Network


    European Fire in Nature Conservation Network 
(
EFNCN)


Introduction
In the history of land-use in Europe fire has been an important element in forestry, agriculture and pastoralism. The use of fire has contributed to shape landscape patterns of high ecological and cultural diversity, e.g. heathlands, open grasslands, meadows, and swidden (shifting) agriculture sites. In the Nordic countries historic natural fires caused by lightning and burning practises have also significantly influenced the composition and structure of forest ecosystems.

The rapid socio-economic changes in the post-World War II Europe led also to a change of land-use systems and landscape patterns, resulting in elimination of traditional burning practises. New air quality standards and the generally prevailing opinion by the government administrations that fire would damage ecosystem stability and biodiversity, led to imposing of fire bans in most European countries.

It is now becoming evident that the abandonment of traditional land-use methods resulted in the elimination of disturbances which have characteristically shaped many valuable landscape types and ecosystems. Changing paradigms in ecology and nature conservation currently lead to the reconsideration of fire-exclusion policies in certain sectors of nature conservation, forestry and landscape management.

The use of prescribed fire for maintenance of structure and functioning of Calluna vulgaris heathlands on Brandenburg State (German Federal Forest Service District Lausitz, Zschornoer Heide Ranger Station) is one the first of an increasing number of projects that are underway in Germany in 2004. More details on research and development projects involving prescribed burning in nature conservation and landscape management are provided below. 
Photo: GFMC.

Objectives and Members of the Network
This European Fire in Nature Conservation Network (EFNCN) is an initiative of the Fire Ecology Research Group / Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) and aims to build up and gradually expand communication and networking mechanisms in which European Partners present their views and projects on research and development in

  • cultural and natural history and prehistory of fire
  • application of prescribed fire in nature conservation and landscape management
  • fire ecology

After an initial phase in 2000-2001 the idea of the European Fire in Nature Conservation Network was supported by the Symposium Fire Ecology and Fire Management held at the GFMC, December 2002. A first network member list has been developed which includes most of the projects in Germany and neighbour countries. Those actively involved in prescribed burning in the Baltic Region and interested in networking are included in the following list:

This list is open for all those who are actively doing prescribed fire research and application. Those who wish to be included in the list (which is also a list for circulation of news) are kindly asked to contact the GFMC (address at the end of this page).

EFNCN Prescribed Burning Research and Development Projects
Short summaries of research and development projects conducted by EFNCN members provide project objectives, results, publications and visual impressions of the experimental or routine burns. Those projects that offer a website are also included in the website section further down on
this page.

            Denmark

            Finland

            Germany

            Netherlands

            Poland

            Sweden

United Kingdom

 

Background Information and Literature
Two review papers (in English), three papers in German and a bibliography provide some background information on the cultural fire history and fire ecology of Central-Northern Europe and the recent discussion on the use of prescribed fire in nature conservation and landscape management:

Background information on the use of prescribed burning outside of Europe is provided:

Upcoming Meetings / Archived Announcement of Meetings

  • Currently no meetings are planned

Websites
The following websites include information or activities on prescribed burning in nature conservation or on cultural fire history in the Baltic Region and associated countries:

Finland
Koli National Park – Swidden heritage alive (go to: slash-and-burn):
http://www.metla.fi/koli/index-en.htm

Germany
Fire Ecology Research Group (GFMC host) website in German:
http://www.ffu.uni-freiburg.de/feueroekologie/

Federal German Forest Service District Lausitz: Heathland Burning Project
http://www.bundesforst.de/news/aktuelles/archiv/heidebrennen.htm

Fire management in open landscapes of NW Germany – Alfred Toepfer Academy for Nature Conservation:
http://www.nna.de/feuer/teilproj.htm

R&D Project
“Sustainable Development of Xerothermic Slopes of the Middle Rhine Valley” (click on “Themenbereiche, Feuer”)
www.ee-mittelrhein.de

Prescribed Burning in the Highmoor Lowlands of Diepholz, NW Germany (click on “Kontrolliertes Brennen”)
www.bund-niedersachsen.de/diepholzer-moorniederung

Prescribed Fire and Heather Management in the Nature Reserve Westruper Heide (North Rhine-Westphalia)
http://www.nabu-halternamsee.de/haltern/heide/heidebrennen.html

Reutebrennen in Wolfach, Black Forest (go to: Archiv, then to Rüttebrennen 2002):
http://www.wolfach.de/pages/tourframe.html

Forschungsverbund Offenland (Habitat management in military training areas in the pleistocenic lowland area of northeast Germany)
http://www.offenland.de/

Feuereinsatz in der Landschaftspflege – Website des Ministeriums Laendlicher Raum, Baden Wuerttemberg (Fire in landscape management – website of the Ministry for Rural Space, Baden Wuerttemberg State, Germany)

http://www.landwirtschaft-mlr.baden-wuerttemberg.de/servlet/PB/menu/1063436_l1/index.html

Forum 2000 Feuer in the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany (Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland)
http://www2.kah-bonn.de/fo/feuer/0.htm
For obtaining information on the proceedings volume Feuer contact:
forum@kah-bonn.de

Sweden
Prescribed burning required for forest certification (Chapter 6.4.4) – Swedish FSC Standard for Forest Certification:
http://www.fsc-sweden.org/gron/Swedish%20FSC-standard1.html#6.4

United Kingdom
Heathlands Europe, Network for any subject related to heathlands:
http://www.english-nature.org.uk/heathlands/default.htm
 

The Muirburn Code
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library3/environment/mbcd-00.asp

 Prescribed burning on Moorland: Supplement to the Muirburn Code – A Guide to Best Practice
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library3/environment/msup-00.asp

Fire management in NW Europe – FireBeaters:
http://www.ed.ac.uk/~ebfr89/firebeat/home.htm

 

International
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
http://nature.org/initiatives/fire/

Fire Regime and Condition Class (FRCC) Website
http://fire.org/frcc/

GFMC readers are encouraged to submit their project websites on the same topic to:

Fire Ecology Research Group / The Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC)
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry
c/o Freiburg University
Georges-Koehler-Allee 075
D – 79110 Freiburg
GERMANY

e-mail: fire@fire.uni-freiburg.de


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