Title: The impact of land cover change on Africa's burnt area.
Authors: GREGOIRE Jean-MarieEVA HughBELWARD AlanPALUMBO ILARIASIMONETTI DarioBRINK Andreas
Citation: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE
Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC64347
ISSN: 1049-8001
URI: http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/114.htm
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC64347
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF11142
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Expected changes in climate conditions as well as in land-use and land-cover will impact on the fire activity in sub-Saharan Africa. Knowing that the African continent contributes up to 64% of the global extent of area burnt, the uncertainty on the future fire activity in sub-Saharan Africa is an important issue. In this study we aim to quantify the impact, on the extent of the burnt area, of the conversion process from natural vegetation to agriculture. We have compared the contemporary fire activity in 297 national parks and reserves, where agricultural activity is theoretically not present, with that occurring in their surroundings. Our results suggest that the total area burnt annually in Africa is most probably decreasing ¿ due to the continued conversion of natural vegetation to agricultural lands. Depending on the scenario considered for the deforestation in the Congo basin, the decrease of burnt area would be between 306.103 ha and 113.103 ha per year, which corresponds to 0.05% to 0.15% of the area currently burnt in Africa. The resulting decrease of burnt biomass would be between a minimum of 0.43 Tg to a maximum of 3.40 Tg per year, depending of the estimates of above ground fuel biomass.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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