FIRES
Interdisciplinary Research on Ecosystem Services:
Fire and Climate Change in UK Moorlands and Heaths

Aims

The aims of the four workshops in the seminar series are:

  1. to build capacity for inter-disciplinary research on fire and its impacts on ecosystem services of UK heaths and moorlands;
  2. to establish a cross-cutting interdisciplinary research agenda on the relationships between ecosystem services, managed fire and wildfire in UK heaths and moorlands, especially implications of increased wildfire risk under climate change scenarios;
  3. to incorporate the needs of policy makers, moorland managers and other stakeholders, facilitate knowledge transfer to policy makers and contribute to adaptive management response.

Specific Objectives

The objectives of the seminar series are:

  • to facilitate dialogue between participants on three levels: socio-economic, environmental and physical scientists; researchers, international and UK academics and postgraduate students; and, especially, researchers, stakeholders and policy-makers;
  • to identify the ecosystem services of UK heaths and moorlands, assess the role of managed fire in maintaining them and the costs and benefits of reductions in prescribed burning;
  • to assess the threats to these ecosystem services posed by wildfire, including the future threat from climate change;
  • to evaluate the suitability for the UK of three modelling tools designed to minimise damage to the ecosystem: forecasting the timing and severity of wildfire risk; modelling the behaviour of active fires; and spatially modelling their cause and distribution (including evaluating alternative conceptual and methodological approaches, identifying data needs and implications for policy);
  • to identify alternative strategies for managing wildfire risk (now and in the future from climate change), discuss their relative costs and benefits for ecosystem services, and identify the political and institutional policy drivers;
  • to disseminate findings and define an agenda for further cross-disciplinary research.