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Understanding human-fire interactions in tropical forest regions : a case for interdisciplinary research across the natural and social sciences

Carmenta, Rachel and Parry, Luke and Blackburn, Alan and Vermeylen, Saskia and Barlow, Jos (2011) Understanding human-fire interactions in tropical forest regions : a case for interdisciplinary research across the natural and social sciences. Ecology and Society, 16 (1). -. ISSN 1708-3087

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    Fire in the forested tropics has profound environmental, economic, and social impacts at multiple geographical scales. Causes of tropical fires are widely documented, although research contributions are from many disciplines, and each tends to focus on specific facets of a research problem, which might limit understanding of fire as a complex social-ecological system. We conducted a systematic review to (1) examine geographic and methodological focus in tropical fire research; (2) identify which types of landholders are the focus of the research effort; (3) test for a research method effect on the variables, e. g., socio-political, economic, and climatic, identified as causes of and proposed management solutions to tropical fire; and (4) examine relationships between causal factors and proposed solutions. Results from 51 studies show distinct geographic and methodological tendencies in the literature. Few studies explicitly identify landholder types, and no social studies focused on large-landholders. Multiple drivers and potential solutions to preventing fire are identified and the research approach adopted had the strongest influence on the socioeconomic, direct fire management and landscape characteristics variables. There was an overall mismatch between identified cause and proposed management solution. These findings indicate that mixed method approaches are imperative to understanding the coupled human-nature system of fire and to improve rural development and management strategies to curtail tropical fire spread.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Ecology and Society
    Uncontrolled Keywords: fire management ; interdisciplinary research ; multiscale analysis ; scale-pattern-process ; social-ecological systems ; tropical forests ; GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL-CHANGE ; SLASH-AND-BURN ; LAND-USE ; BRAZILIAN AMAZON ; RESOURCE-MANAGEMENT ; VEGETATION FIRES ; CLIMATE-CHANGE ; ADAPTIVE GOVERNANCE ; ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS ; ECUADORIAN AMAZON
    Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
    ID Code: 51822
    Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
    Deposited On: 06 Dec 2011 09:10
    Refereed?: Yes
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 27 May 2018 00:16
    Identification Number:

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