Focus on changing fire regimes: interactions with climate, ecosystems, and society

Brendan M. Rogers, Jennifer K. Balch, Scott J. Goetz, Caroline E.R. Lehmann, Merritt Turetsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Fire is a complex Earth system phenomenon that fundamentally affects vegetation distributions, biogeochemical cycling, climate, and human society across most of Earth's land surface. Fire regimes are currently changing due to multiple interacting global change drivers, most notably climate change, land use, and direct human influences via ignition and suppression. It is therefore critical to better understand the drivers, patterns, and impacts of these changing fire regimes now and continuing into the future. Our review contributes to this focus issue by synthesizing results from 27 studies covering a broad range of topics. Studies are categorized into (i) Understanding contemporary fire patterns, drivers, and effects; (ii) Human influences on fire regimes; (iii) Changes in historical fire regimes; (iv) Future projections; (v) Novel techniques; and (vi) Reviews. We conclude with a discussion on progress made, major remaining research challenges, and recommended directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number030201
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • climate change
  • feedbacks
  • management
  • society
  • wildfire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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