Davide Ascoli

Davide Ascoli
Università degli Studi di Torino | UNITO · Department of Agriculture Forestry and Food Sciences

PhD
Forest ecology and management, Integrated fire risk management

About

141
Publications
72,679
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2,388
Citations
Additional affiliations
December 2018 - present
Università degli Studi di Torino
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (141)
Article
Full-text available
A method to build and calibrate custom fuel models was developed by linking genetic algorithms (GA) to the Rothermel fire spread model. GA randomly generates solutions of fuel model parameters to form an initial population. Solutions are validated against observations of fire rate of spread via a goodness-of-fit metric. The population is selected f...
Article
Full-text available
Disentangling the high- and low-frequency effect of climate oscillations on synchronous seed production would improve our understanding of masting as an ecological process. We show for century-long data that inter-annual and decadal changes of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) drove continent-wide masting of Fagus sylvatica L. (European beech)....
Article
Full-text available
1.Synchronous pulses of seed masting and natural disturbance have positive feedbacks on the reproduction of masting species in disturbance‐prone ecosystems. We test the hypotheses that disturbances and proximate causes of masting are correlated, and that their large‐scale synchrony is driven by similar climate teleconnection patterns at both inter‐...
Article
Full-text available
There is evidence that variable and synchronous reproduction in seed plants (masting) correlates to modes of climate variability, e.g. El Niño Southern Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation. In this perspective, we explore the breadth of knowledge on how climate modes control reproduction in major masting species throughout Earth's biomes. We...
Article
Full-text available
It is commonly believed that wildfires in southern Europe have been favored by the encroachment of flammable vegetation on cultivated and grazed areas no longer managed as a consequence of deep socioeconomic changes in rural areas. Using the whole of Italy as study case, this paper explores the hypothesis that wildfires selectively burn areas with...
Article
Full-text available
Context Several plant traits are associated with resistance to fire, thus fire-resistant species may give rise to more fire-resistant landscapes. However, up-scaling from plant traits to landscape- and regional-scale fire effects remains a challenge. Objectives We test two hypotheses: (1) forests composed of fire-resistant species experience low...
Conference Paper
Las proyecciones de cambio climático sugieren un incremento de actividad de incendios forestales en el futuro, especialmente en los ecosistemas mediterráneos, como el sur de California. Esta región es un foco significativo de incendios forestales a nivel global. Los agentes de gestión de incendios están bajo una presión cada vez mayor ante la neces...
Article
European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) can regenerate successfully from seeds after mixed-severity fires with mid-to-long fire return intervals (>60 years). However, if fire return interval is lower than the age of sexual maturity, post-fire seeding will be limited, leaving vegetative resprouting as the only viable option for recovery. This means that...
Poster
Full-text available
La divulgazione scientifica nel settore delle scienze ambientali e forestali ha assunto un ruolo di primo piano. In questo contesto, la comunicazione dei sistemi naturali complessi deve essere fatta con la stessa attitudine all’innovazione che usiamo nella ricerca. La diffusione di prodotti tecnologici e le possibilità offerte dalla “rete” hanno ab...
Article
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The European Union Rural Development Program (RDP) is a major driver of landscape change over time in Europe. In a context of climate and land use changes and consequent fire risk exacerbation, understanding the possible contribution of RDP measures to wildfire risk mitigation could help planning subsidies allocation criteria in a more efficient wa...
Article
Full-text available
Lack of tree fecundity data across climatic gradients precludes the analysis of how seed supply contributes to global variation in forest regeneration and biotic interactions responsible for biodiversity. A global synthesis of raw seedproduction data shows a 250‐fold increase in seed abundance from cold‐dry to warm‐wet climates, driven primarily by...
Poster
Full-text available
Moris JV, Hunt H, Ascoli D. 2022. A global database of lightning-caused holdover fires. 13th SISEF National Congress, 30 May-2 June, Orvieto (Italy)
Presentation
Full-text available
Ascoli D, Vecchio D, Musio L, Berretti R, Bono A, Moris JV, Meloni F, Sibona E, Garbarino M, Motta R, Caffo L, Momo E, Accastello C, Dotta A. 2022. Pyrosilviculture in mountain pine forests exposed to crown fires. 13th SISEF National Congress, 30 May-2 June, Orvieto (Italy). (In Italian)
Presentation
Full-text available
Ascoli D, Moris JV, Sil A, Fernandes P. 2022. Using the Rothermel package in R to test standard and custom fuel models against global fire behavior data. 3rd International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk, 3-6 May, Alghero (Italy).
Article
Full-text available
The relationships that control seed production in trees are fundamental to understanding the evolution of forest species and their capacity to recover from increasing losses to drought, fire, and harvest. A synthesis of fecundity data from 714 species worldwide allowed us to examine hypotheses that are central to quantifying reproduction, a foundat...
Article
Full-text available
Since February 2022, the National Forestry Strategy (NFS) for the forest sector and its supply chains is public. The NFS addresses in an innovative and science-based way key issues related to forest fire governance such as the integrated fire risk management, the convergence of forest, agro-pastoral and nature conservation policies with fire govern...
Article
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Nel febbraio 2022 è stata pubblicata la Strategia Forestale Nazionale (SFN) per il settore forestale e le sue filiere. Questo documento affronta in modo innovativo e fondato sulla scienza i problemi relativi alla governance degli incendi boschivi. L’articolo porta una riflessione su come il tema della disponibilità e trasparenza dei dati sugli ince...
Article
Full-text available
Significant gaps remain in understanding the response of plant reproduction to environmental change. This is partly because measuring reproduction in long-lived plants requires direct observation over many years and such datasets have rarely been made publicly available. Here we introduce MASTREE+, a dataset that collates reproductive time-series d...
Article
Full-text available
Background Pyrogeography is a major field of investigation in wildfire science because of its capacity to describe the spatial and temporal variations of fire disturbance. We propose a systematic pyrogeographic analytical approach to cluster regions on the basis of their pyrosimilarities. We employed the Affinity Propagation algorithm to cluster py...
Article
Full-text available
Widely observed inertia of forest communities contrasts with climate change projections that suggest dramatic alterations of forest composition for the coming decades. Disturbances might be a key process to catalyse changes in tree species composition under environmental change by creating opportunities for ‘new’ species to establish. To test this...
Article
The timing of seed production and release is highly relevant for successful plant reproduction. Ecological disturbances, if synchronized with reproductive effort, can increase the chances of seeds and seedlings to germinate and establish. This can be especially true under variable and synchronous seed production (masting). Several observational stu...
Article
Full-text available
Populations of many long-lived plants exhibit spatially synchronized seed production that varies extensively over time, so that seed production in some years is much higher than on average, while in others, it is much lower or absent. This phenomenon termed masting or mast seeding has important consequences for plant reproductive success, ecosystem...
Article
Despite its importance for forest regeneration, food webs, and human economies, changes in tree fecundity with tree size and age remain largely unknown. The allometric increase with tree diameter assumed in ecological models would substantially overestimate seed contributions from large trees if fecundity eventually declines with size. Current esti...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
The PhD candidate will investigate both the influence of climate variability on forest ecosystem functioning (e.g. tree reproduction, mortality) and adaptation to climate change by sustainable forest management practices (e.g. silvicultural systems that prevent or mitigate drought, fire and storm impacts). The research will deepen how climate, dist...
Article
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Forest harvesting in Europe: a healthy scientific debate Is forest harvesting increasing in Europe? There is scientific debate about methodological approach and data regarding clearcut increment in Europe but, besides the discussion, there is a general agreement about the need to collect reliable scientifically robust remote sensing data for sound...
Article
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Spatial synchrony is the tendency of spatially separated populations to display similar temporal fluctuations. Synchrony affects regional ecosystem functioning, but it remains difficult to disentangle its underlying mechanisms. We leveraged regression on distance matrices and geography of synchrony to understand the processes driving synchrony of E...
Article
Full-text available
Global change is expanding the ecological niche of mixed-severity fire regimes into ecosystems that have not usually been associated with wildfires, such as temperate- and rainforests. In contrast to standreplacing fires, mixed-severity fires may result in delayed tree mortality driven by secondary factors such as post-fire environmental conditions...
Article
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Ceccherini et al.1 reported an abrupt increase in harvested forest—in terms of both biomass and area—in Europe from 2016, and suggested that this reflected expanding wood markets encouraged by the bioec- onomy policies of the European Union (EU). They used Global Forest Watch2 and GlobBiomass3 data together with an analysis that sought to remove na...
Article
Projections of future climate change impacts suggest an increase of wildfire activity in Mediterranean ecosystems, such as southern California. This region is a wildfire hotspot and fire managers are under increasingly high pressures to minimize socio-economic impacts. In this context, predictions of high-risk fire seasons are essential to achieve...
Article
Full-text available
Partendo dall’esperienza nordamericana, si propongono modelli selvicolturali per aumentare l’eterogeneità strutturale di boschi di conifere per la prevenzione degli incendi boschivi, quali interessanti spunti di riflessione anche per le realtà mediterranee e alpine.
Article
Full-text available
La prevención de incendios forestales tiene como ejes principales reducir tanto el riesgo de ignición como la capacidad de propagación de los incendios. En ambos objetivos, la gestión del combustible forestal es fundamental. Tradicionalmente, las actividades agropecuarias y forestales han contribuido de forma indirecta a esa gestión a escala de pai...
Article
Full-text available
Surface biomass characterization plays a key role in wildfire management. It allows classifying vegetation fuels flammability for fire risk analysis, to define silvicultural prescriptions for fire hazard reduction, to plan prescribed burning , or to model fire behavior and its effects, such as greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions. To facilitate f...
Article
Wildfires are a major disturbance in the Mediterranean Basin and an ecological factor that constantly alters the landscape. In this context, it is crucial to understand where wildfires are more likely to occur as well as the drivers guiding them in complex landscapes such as the Mediterranean area. The objectives of this study are to estimate wildf...
Technical Report
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I cambiamenti climatici, l’omogeneità dei boschi, il progressivo abbandono di aree agricole e pascolive, la mancanza di gestione del territorio e un approccio che si concentra principalmente sulla gestione dell’emergenza incendi piuttosto che sul loro governo e prevenzione, sono le principali cause all’origine dei Grandi Incendi Forestali e di ince...
Presentation
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Conference at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Article
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The current operating model based only on the approach of fire suppression has generated what experts call the "fire-paradox": the control of all wildfires in the seasons with mild weather generates a fuel load which increases the probability of catastrophic wildfires in the years with extreme climate. Even though the fire has been present on earth...
Presentation
Full-text available
The Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) and Pau Costa Foundation (PCF) are partnering with Regione Toscana and University of Florence to host a conference in Florence, Italy for diverse stakeholders involved in wildfire management. Experts from Europe and around the world are invited to gather in Florence to share fire ecology science and expertise....
Technical Report
Full-text available
In the last years, intensity of wildfires and burned areas have increased around the world due to the anthropogenic climate change. Recent forest fire events proved quite well that forest fires are also an urgent issue in the Alpine region which can lead to the destruction of protection forests, increasing vulnerability to natural hazards and resul...
Article
Full-text available
Highly variable and synchronised production of seeds by plant populations, known as masting, is implicated in many important ecological processes, but how it arises remains poorly understood. The lack of experimental studies prevents underlying mechanisms from being explicitly tested, and thereby precludes meaningful predictions on the consequences...
Article
Full-text available
During the last decades, climate and land use changes led to an increased prevalence of megafires in Mediterranean-type climate regions (MCRs). Here, we argue that current wildfire management policies in MCRs are destined to fail. Focused on fire suppression, these policies largely ignore ongoing climate warming and landscape-scale buildup of fuels...
Article
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Microbial diversity plays a crucial role in ecosystem processes, including organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling. This research explores the effect of prescribed burning (PB) on soil microbial diversity, as well as biomass and activity in Mediterranean pine plantations. In burned and adjacent unburned plots of Pinus pinea and P. pinaste...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report contains the annual summary of the fire season of 2018 with official figures provided by 33 contributing countries for the number of fires, burnt areas and fire prevention efforts, and the analysis of fire danger and areas mapped in the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).
Chapter
This chapter presents and discusses the genesis, evolution and persistence of wildfire regulation policies, and how misguided approaches are self-reinforced without due consideration or understanding of the roots and dynamics of the problem to be tackled. Recommendations to replace fire exclusion policies with integrated fire management have been p...
Article
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Post scriptum di Sherwood 241.
Article
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Climate change is expected to alter disturbance regimes including fires in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests. Regarding the resilience of beech forests to fire it is questionable whether seeds of this non-serotinous obligate masting seeder find advantageous conditions in a post-fire environment. The probability of recruitment success has...
Article
Drought and water stress are widely known to influence fuel moisture content and flammability, although differences do exist according to the response mechanisms and adaptive traits displayed by plant communities. In the Mediterranean basin, as a result of climate change, extreme drought events are expected to become more frequent and severe, envis...
Article
Fire disturbance is an intrinsic component of the Mediterranean biome playing an important role in ecosystem dynamics and processes. However, frequent and severe anthropogenic wildfires can be detrimental to natural ecosystems, particularly in small natural protected areas, where they may hamper the flow of ecosystem services (ES). While post-fire...
Article
Full-text available
El alerce europeo (Larix decidua) domina el paisaje forestal en los valles internos de los Alpes occidentales. A pesar de su importancia, su respuesta a los incendios forestales apenas ha sido estudiada. En este trabajo se examina la hipótesis de que el alerce europeo es una especie resiliente al fuego. Para ello se establecieron 200 parcelas en nu...
Article
Full-text available
Tree growth and reproduction are subject to trade-offs in resource allocation. At the same time, they are both influenced by climate. In this study, we combined long records of reproductive effort at the individual- (29 years), population- (41 years) and regional (up to 53 years) scale, and tree ring chronologies, to investigate the effects of clim...
Article
Full-text available
Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) stands are prone to high-intensity fire. Fuel treatments lessen potential fire behaviour and severity, but evidence of their effectiveness when tested by wildfire is extremely scarce in Europe. We assess the longevity of prescribed burning in maritime pine plantations in decreasing fire severity. Heights of crown...
Article
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On October 29th, 2018, storm Vaia hit forests in north-eastern Italy, causing the loss of 8 million cubic meters of standing trees and, more importantly, the sudden reduction of forest-related ecosystem services. Such event is not unprecedented: a similar storm had occurred in the same regions in 1966. Every year, an average of two extratropical st...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Fire behaviour characteristics define the impacts on society and the environment. While wildland fire science has expanded to include the analysis of fire activity and effects across the globe, an understanding of global fire behaviour patterns and its drivers remains incomplete. We utilized the literature and unpublished datasets as sources for co...
Article
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Firebreak and fuelbreak are fuel-managed areas meant to stop or hamper fire propagation, respectively. Firebreaks are parcels of land, linear in shape, where fuels are totally removed down to mineral soil through a combination of physical treatments (thinning, mechanical clearing, prescribed burning, slashing, mastication, mowing, plowing). Fuelbre...
Article
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Climatically controlled allocation to reproduction is a key mechanism by which climate influences tree growth and may explain lagged correlations between climate and growth. We used continent-wide datasets of tree-ring chronologies and annual reproductive effort in Fagus sylvatica from 1901-2015 to characterise relationships between climate, reprod...
Article
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Il crescere del problema degli incendi forestali anche nei paesi sviluppati di clima temperato e segnatamente nell’Europa Meridionale è dovuto essenzialmente ai cambiamenti in corso, di natura climatica e socioeconomica. La transizione forestale ha preso da tempo la direzione dell’abbandono e della non consapevolezza delle dinamiche e dei processi...
Article
Masting is the highly variable and synchronous production of seeds by plants. Masting can have cascading effects on plant population dynamics and forest properties such as tree growth, carbon stocks, regeneration, nutrient cycling, or future species composition. However, masting has often been missing from forest models. Those few that simulate mas...