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Fire Ecology of Florida and the Southeastern Coastal Plain - by Reed F. Noss (Hardcover)
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A biodiversity hotspot, Florida is home to many ecosystems and species that depend on frequent fire to exist. In this book, Reed Noss discusses the essential role of fire in generating biodiversity and offers best practices for using fire to keep the region's ecosystems healthy and resilient.
Reviewing fossil evidence, Noss shows that fire has been important to the Southeastern Coastal Plain for tens of millions of years. He explains how the region's natural fire patterns are connected to its climate, high rate of lightning strikes, physical chemistry, and vegetation. But urbanization has recently reduced the frequency and range of these fires in profound ways. Noss believes the practice of controlled burns can and should be improved in order to protect fire-dependent species from extinction.
Noss argues that fire managers should mimic the natural fire regimes of an area when conducting controlled burns. Based on what the species of the Southeast experienced during their evolutionary histories, he makes recommendations about pyrodiversity, how often and in what seasons to burn, the optimal heterogeneity of burns, mechanical treatments such as cutting and roller-chopping, and the proper use of fuel breaks. In doing so, Noss is the first to apply the new discipline of evolutionary fire ecology to a specific region.
This book is a fascinating history of fire ecology in Florida, an enlightening look at why fire matters to the region, and a necessary resource for conservationists and fire managers in the state and surrounding areas.