A British Ecological Society Special Interest Group
17 people attended from British, Irish, Dutch, Czech and Spanish research centres. The meeting started with a series of talks. The invited speaker, Dr Juli Pausas from CSIC (the Spanish National Research Council), gave a talk about the evolutionary role of fire in plant traits in fire-prone ecosystems. This was followed by talks from Rob Marrs (University of Liverpool), Catherine Parr (University of Liverpool) and Imma Oliveras (University of Wageningen). Talks covered a diverse range of topics including fire in the tropics, threats from altered fire regimes to conflicts in moorland burning.
The afternoon session began with talks from postdocs and students. Colin Courtney-Mustaphi (U. York), Sam Bowers (U. Edinburgh) and Donna Hawthorne (Trinity College Dublin) gave presentation about their research, which highlighted
challenges in reconstructing paleoecological fire regimes, and challenges in correlative studies on fire-prone ecosystems. Several other attendees had posters about their research.
After the talks, the workshop actively engaged participants by splitting in two groups, and discussing a series of topics: key questions in fire ecology, challenges in for science and management, and potential solutions to the challenges. The meeting ended with an open discussion about these topics. It was clear that there are substantial challenges to fire management with threats from fire suppression, woody encroachment and generally negative perceptions of fires. As researchers we need to do more to engage with these issues.