“Whoa! It's like Spotify but for academic articles.”

Instant Access to Thousands of Journals for just $40/month

Get 2 Weeks Free

Fire regime: history and definition of a key concept in disturbance ecology



“Fire regime” has become, in recent decades, a key concept in many scientific domains. In spite of its wide spread use, the concept still lacks a clear and wide established definition. Many believe that it was first discussed in a famous report on national park management in the United States, and that it may be simply defined as a selection of a few measurable parameters that summarize the fire occurrence patterns in an area. This view has been uncritically perpetuated in the scientific community in the last decades. In this paper we attempt a historical reconstruction of the origin, the evolution and the current meaning of “fire regime” as a concept. Its roots go back to the 19th century in France and to the first half of the 20th century in French African colonies. The “fire regime” concept took time to evolve and pass from French into English usage and thus to the whole scientific community. This coincided with a paradigm shift in the early 1960s in the United States, where a favourable cultural, social and scientific climate led to the natural role of fires as a major disturbance in ecosystem dynamics becoming fully acknowledged. Today the concept of “fire regime” refers to a collection of several fire-related parameters that may be organized, assembled and used in different ways according to the needs of the users. A structure for the most relevant categories of parameters is proposed, aiming to contribute to a unified concept of “fire regime” that can reconcile the physical nature of fire with the socio-ecological context within which it occurs.



Theory in BiosciencesSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2010

DOI: 10.1007/s12064-010-0082-z

Free Preview of First Page

Loading next page...

You're reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

And millions more from thousands of peer-reviewed journals, for just $40/month

Get 2 Weeks Free

To be the best researcher, you need access to the best research

  • With DeepDyve, you can stop worrying about how much articles cost, or if it's too much hassle to order — it's all at your fingertips. Your research is important and deserves the top content.
  • Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from Springer, Elsevier, Nature, IEEE, Wiley-Blackwell and more.
  • All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

Stop missing out on the latest updates in your field

  • We’ll send you automatic email updates on the keywords and journals you tell us are most important to you.
  • There is a lot of content out there, so we help you sift through it and stay organized.