Stress the importance of animals in fire management

2020/03/05 Gallego Moya, Juanma - Kazetaria Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

In addition to herbivores, they stress the need to consider other animals. - Ed. Unsplash
The importance of some herbivorous animals in forest fire control when consuming herbs and other plants is well known as reducing forest fuel. However, herbivores are not the only animals to consider by those who are engaged in fire management, as they have warned in a scientific article published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Otherwise, a group of Australian scientists underlined the need to consider birds, insects or large mammals in these efforts. According to researchers, the activity of these animals can reduce the chances of fires. The influence of leaf-eating insects has been given as an example: to cope with their activity, plants produce defense chemicals that alter the flammability of leaves. Also, some birds collect leaves to nest, cleaning the environment. On the other hand, the paths that large animals make between plants can act as natural firewalls. In addition, when analyzing the influence of herbivores, it is considered necessary to take into account the type of plants that consume these animals. In fact, they only consume sweet plants for them, which in turn means that less sweet and normally drier plants remain uneaten. According to the authors, these are precisely the plants that will burn more easily in case of fire.