Paulo Fernandes

Paulo Fernandes
Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro | utad · Departamento de Ciências Florestais e Arquitetura Paisagista

Ph.D. Forest Sciences

About

416
Publications
203,144
Reads
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7,921
Citations
Introduction
WildIand fire researcher, with a special interest on how fire behaviour determines fire effects and the management implications. Main current research interests: fire regime drivers; fire danger rating; fire behaviour across the globe. Associate Editor: International Journal of Wildland Fire, Fire Ecology, Annals of Forest Science. Board of Directors member: International Association of Wildland Fire (2013-2018), Pau Costa Foundation (2011-2021).
Additional affiliations
February 2020 - April 2020
ForestWISE - Collaborative Laboratory for Integrated Forest & Fire Wise Management
Position
  • Senior Researcher
Description
  • The ForestWISE Collaborative Laboratory (CoLAB) was set up to develop research, innovation and technology transfer activities to increase the competitiveness of the Portuguese forestry sector and reduce the negative consequences of rural fires.
September 2018 - present
Portuguese Parliament
Position
  • Technical committee member
Description
  • 'Observatório Técnico Independente' monitors forest fire management and policies evolution and outcomes in Portugal
April 2013 - present
Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Forest Fires; Fire Management and Planning; Forest Restoration
Education
January 1998 - December 2002

Publications

Publications (416)
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
Eucalypts, especially blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus), have been extensively planted in Portugal and nowadays dominate most of its forest landscapes. Large-scale forestation programs can intensify fire activity, and blue gum plantations are often viewed as highly flammable due to the nature and structure of the fuel complex. The role of eucalypt pla...
Article
Full-text available
Forest fire management relies on fire danger rating to optimize its suite of activities. Limiting fire size is the fire management target whenever minimizing burned area is the primary goal, such as in the Mediterranean Basin. Within the region, wildfire incidence is especially acute in Portugal, a country where fire-influencing anthropogenic and l...
Article
Adoption of prescribed burning is increasing as the treatment chosen to decrease fuel hazard in southern Europe but little is known about how it affects wildfire activity. We assessed the effectiveness of prescribed burning treatments by analysing the survival of treatment units to wildfire in mainland Portugal (2005-2017). We examined the time-dep...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated management of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) in heterogeneous landscapes requires considering the potential trade-offs between conflicting objectives. The UNESCO's Biosphere Reserve zoning scheme is a suitable context to address these trade-offs by considering multiple management zones that aim to minimise conflicts between man...
Preprint
Wildfire is a common phenomenon in Mediterranean countries but the 2022 fire season has been extreme in southwest Europe (Portugal, Spain and France). Burned area has exceeded the 2001-2021 median by a factor of 52 in some regions and large wildfires started to occur in June- July, earlier than the traditional fire season. These anomalies were asso...
Article
Extensive forest planting in Southern Europe during the twentieth century reconciled economic objectives with ecological restoration. But the resulting forests are also fuelling the intensity and magnitude of recent wildfires. As well as urgently addressing the hazard of accumulated fuel across the landscape, people should be designing future plant...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Fires of natural origin are usually a very small fraction of the total number of fires in southern Europe, and as such, they are not relevant to contemporary fire regimes and policies, even if they occasionally develop into large-scale conflagrations. However, lighting-caused fires might have been a relevant landscape-level disturbance prior to the...
Article
In the last decades, fire regimes in Europe have changed towards an increased occurrence of extreme fire events with large burned areas and associated impacts. Portugal is one of the countries most affected by wildfires, with extraordinary negative impacts. Postfire emergency stabilization is an important restoration practice to mitigate fire impac...
Article
Full-text available
The impacts of wildfires are increasing in the Mediterranean Basin due to more extreme fire seasons featuring increasingly fast and high-intensity fires, which often overwhelm the response capacity of fire suppression forces. Fire behaviour is expected to become even more severe due to climate change. In this study, we quantified the effect of clim...
Article
50 days' free access: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1fREf4sKhEVT0U Fire simulation models are useful to advance fire research and improve landscape management. However, a better understanding of these tools is crucial to increase their reliability and expansion into research fields where their application remains limited (e.g., ecosystem services...
Poster
Full-text available
We present a collection of tools to support the analysis of vegetation data in the R environment. This collection contains several open-source R packages with several different functionalities: i) diffval, with functions aiming at obtaining classifications based on differential taxa, using discrete/combinatoric approaches and mathematical optimizat...
Article
Prescribed burning (PB) is increasingly recognised as a viable, cost-effective technique for reducing wildfire risk. Yet, quantification of the effect of PB on the reduction of wildfire extent in southern Europe is non-existent. We used 35 years of fire mapping data in Portugal to analyse wildfire regime metrics in nine landscapes before (1985–2004...
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 implementation of climate-smart policies to enhance carbon sequestration and reduce emissions is being encouraged worldwide to fight climate change. Afforestation practices and rewilding initiatives are climate-smart examples suggested to tackle these issues. In contrast, fire-smart approaches, by stimulating traditional farmland activities or...
Article
Full-text available
The suggestion has been made within the wildland fire community that the rate of spread in the upper portion of the fire danger spectrum is largely independent of the physical fuel characteristics in certain forest ecosystem types. Our review and analysis of the relevant scientific literature on the subject suggests that fuel characteristics have a...
Article
Full-text available
Background The characterization of surface and canopy fuel loadings in fire-prone pine ecosystems is critical for understanding fire behavior and anticipating the most harmful ecological effects of fire. Nevertheless, the joint consideration of both overstory and understory strata in burn severity assessments is often dismissed. The aim of this wor...
Article
Full-text available
The degree to which burn severity influences the recovery of aboveground carbon density (ACD) of live pools in shrublands remains unclear. Multitemporal LiDAR data was used to evaluate ACD recovery three years after fire in shrubland ecosystems as a function of burn severity immediately after fire across an environmental and productivity gradient i...
Preprint
Full-text available
The impacts of wildfires are increasing in the Mediterranean Basin due to more extreme fire seasons that often overwhelm the response capacity of fire suppression forces. In this study, we quantified the effect of climate change on fire danger (components of the Canadian FWI System) and wildfire behaviour characteristics (rate of spread and firelin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The mountain landscapes of northern Portugal have been modified through rural depopulation and the absence of rangeland management. As such, increased above-ground biomass and higher fire hazard resulted, as well as decreased ecosystem biodiversity. The objectives of the OpentoPreserve Interreg SUDOE project are to evaluate the effects of the combi...
Book
Full-text available
This textbook provides students and academics with a conceptual understanding of fire behavior and fire effects on people and ecosystems to support effective integrated fire management. Through case studies, interactive spreadsheets programmed with equations and graphics, and clear explanations, the book provides undergraduate, graduate, and profes...
Chapter
The heat from fires influences fire behavior and effects on plants, animals, people, and their homes. How? In this chapter, we explain heat transfer by radiation, convection, conduction, and mass transport using the equations for the physical processes and simple, applied examples. All chemical reactions in flaming and smoldering combustion are acc...
Chapter
Vegetation often fuels fires. We describe both vegetation fuels and how fires burn with specific terms central to understanding fire science and management. Fuel type, amount (load), and structure mediate both the effects of fire on ecosystems and human impacts on fires. Independent of its biological nature, characterizing how readily vegetation co...
Chapter
Where does the heat come from during combustion in vegetation fires? In this chapter from our book, Fire science from chemistry to landscape management, we build upon the previous chapters about fire chemistry where atoms and molecules of some substances (reactants) change by combustion into other substances (products). Here, we explain the process...
Chapter
How do fires grow from points or lines of ignition to engulf large areas? What equations are useful for predicting fire spread? In this chapter of our book, Fire science from chemistry to landscape management, we explain how wind, slope, and fuels influence the rate of spread of fires initially and at steady state. We emphasize heat balance. Fires...
Chapter
Many people have called for Integrated Fire Management that effectively harnesses the power of fire to achieve land management goals. Often this includes using fire, and certainly, it involves managing both short- and long-term effects of fire informed by an understanding of both people and place. In eight case studies from around the globe, local...
Chapter
Large, often severe fires are increasingly affecting the places people live including the built environment, the ecosystems, and the goods and services that benefit people around the world, especially in North and South America, Europe, and Australia. What are the conditions that allow for extreme fires? What effects do they have? How do scientists...
Chapter
People can and must find ways to adapt to and live with some fires and smoke. In this chapter of our book, Fire Science: From Chemistry to Landscape Management, we illustrate how the fire science learned in earlier chapters, along with economics and other social sciences, can be applied to fire fighter safety, and to protect people, their homes, an...
Chapter
Fire history can inform science and management of landscapes now and in a future of rapid change. In this chapter to our book, Fire science from chemistry to landscape management, we build on the understanding of fire occurrence and effects from previous chapters, starting with temporal dynamics at points, and then expanding over scales in space an...
Chapter
In this chapter of our book, Fire science from chemistry to landscape management, we explain the factors that influence the energy associated with the pre-ignition phase and the estimation of the adiabatic flame temperature. Before fuels can ignite, they go through a pre-ignition phase that removes water and other liquid volatile compounds from the...
Chapter
Combustion is a chemical process that results in the oxidation and breakdown of organic matter from living and dead vegetation. The products emitted during complete or incomplete combustion include gases such as carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen, as well as carbon and minerals. Particles of organic matter that are only partially consumed are left...
Chapter
Why do some fuels more readily ignite in vegetation fires? What makes some plants more flammable than others? Without ignition, there will be no fire, though heat, fuel, and oxygen are all also necessary for combustion. For organic matter to ignite, it must first be heated enough to drive off moisture, so fuels are dry enough to burn. As fuel is he...
Chapter
How do plants survive fires? Fires can affect plant crowns, stems, roots, and seeds. Fire effects depend on fire behavior, plant characteristics, and the environment. Heat effects on meristematic tissue are important, for if meristems are greatly damaged by heat, plants may not survive and thrive post fire. We illustrate key concepts with trees (fo...
Chapter
Fuels influence fire ignition, spread, intensity, and severity. Thus, fuels link fire behavior and fire effects. Fuels are central to our book, Fire science from chemistry to landscape management. We address how scientists and managers describe types of fuels, assess the amount of fuels (called fuel load) and characterize fuelbeds. The amount and t...
Chapter
We discuss the environmental, social, and technological trends that will influence fire science and management in the coming decades. We begin by discussing the influence of global change, including climate and social changes, on how fires burn, our perceptions of wildland fire, and how we respond to fires. We highlight several of these challenges...
Chapter
Full-text available
The expansion of the 2017 mega-fires in Portugal was observed to be locally halted by native forest patches. Here we present spatial simulation scenarios of fire behaviour to assess whether native forest cover mitigates fire spread during extreme wildfire conditions in wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas around Industrial Zones (IZs). Our results...
Article
Climate change is expected to have strong social-ecological implications, with global but especially regional and local challenges. To assess the climatic vulnerability of a given territory, it is necessary to evaluate its exposure to climate change and its adaptive capacity. This study describes the development of an Action Plan for Adapting to Cl...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Tabelas de Rothermel (1983) para estimação da humidade do combustível morto fino em unidades do sistema métrico e em Português
Technical Report
Full-text available
O Relatório inclui uma avaliação do PNA, considerando as suas orientações e objetivos estratégicos, fazendo uma análise genérica do documento e referindo-se specificamente a um aspeto muito pouco explicitado no Programa: a importância da consideração da ação climática. O Relatório faz, em seguida, uma análise do SGIFR, tanto no âmbito da sua arquit...
Code
O PiroPinus constitui a versão informática do guia de fogo controlado em pinhal bravo. Difere do guia que consta do Manual de Formação de Fogo Controlado, uma vez que é regularmente actualizado e oferece funcionalidades acrescidas. Destina-se a uso em queimas para redução de combustível no Norte e Centro do País, para planeamento e avaliação das o...
Article
Full-text available
The extreme 2017 fire season in Portugal led to widespread recognition of the need for a paradigm shift in forest and wildfire management. We focused our study on Alvares, a parish in central Portugal located in a fire-prone area, which had 60% of its area burned in 2017. We evaluated how different fuel treatment strategies may reduce wildfire haza...
Presentation
Full-text available
Portugal, juntamente com os outros países do sul da Europa, tem elevada vulnerabilidade a incêndios severos. Entre 2001 e 2019, superou qualquer outro destes países, com 2,4% do seu território florestal e agroflorestal atingido anualmente pelo fogo e pelos efeitos dos incêndios rurais. Esta realidade está diretamente relacionada com as dinâmicas do...
Article
Full-text available
Lightning-caused fires (LCF) and fire environments influenced by thunderstorms are increasingly implicated in extreme wildfire events around the world, with devastating consequences to society and the environment. However, the disaster potential inherent to LCF is often neglected, especially where the fire regime is determined mostly by anthropogen...
Preprint
Full-text available
The disastrous 2017 fire season in Portugal lead to widespread recognition of the need for a paradigm shift in forest and fire management. We focused our study on Alvares, a parish in central Portugal which had 60% of its area burned in 2017, with a large record of historical. We evaluated how different fuel treatment strategies can reduce wildfire...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A grande variação interanual nas estatísticas de fogos rurais dificulta a quantificação ao longo do tempo dos progressos na gestão desses fogos. Este estudo analisa estatísticas para o período 2001-2020 e compara vários indicadores da piroatividade em Portugal entre o período de 2008-2017 e o período mais recente de 2018-2020, através de análises q...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A segurança das comunidades potencialmente afetadas pelos incêndios florestais constitui uma das maiores prioridades das autoridades e tem sido objeto de várias medidas legislativas e operacionais, em especial a partir dos incêndios de 2017. Entre estas medidas destacam-se os programas Aldeia Segura e Pessoas Seguras, lançados pelo Governo em 2018....