Conservation and Society

ARTICLE
Year
: 2005  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26--42

The Fire-Lantana Cycle Hypothesis in Indian Forests


Ankila J Hiremath, Bharath Sundaram 
 Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, 659, 5th A Main Road, Hebbal, Bangalore 560024, India

Correspondence Address:
Ankila J Hiremath
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, 659, 5th A Main Road, Hebbal, Bangalore 560024
India

Anthropogenic fires in Indian forests probably date back to the arrival of the first hominids on the Indian subcontinent.However, with our continuing dependence on forests for a variety of resources, but with shrinking forested areas, forests are being subjected to more intensive use than before. As a result, fires are occurring more frequently today than at any time in the past. This altered fire regime is probably qualitatively different from historical fire regimes in its impact on forests at multiple spatial scales. Present-day fires have possibly led to forest degradation, increasing susceptibility to invasion by alien species such as lantana (Lantana camara). We hypothesise that there may be a positive feedback between present-day fires and invasion by lantana, leading to a fire­lantana cycle that can have deleterious compositional and functional consequences for forest ecosystems and the commodities and services that society derives from them. Despite the widespread nature of the problem, we lack good empirical information on the effects of varying fire frequency and severity in Indian dry forests. So also, we lack a sound understanding of the mechanistic underpinnings of lantana«SQ»s success and barriers to its control in Indian forests. Without such information we have little hope of a way out of the fire-lantana cycle.


How to cite this article:
Hiremath AJ, Sundaram B. The Fire-Lantana Cycle Hypothesis in Indian Forests.Conservat Soc 2005;3:26-42


How to cite this URL:
Hiremath AJ, Sundaram B. The Fire-Lantana Cycle Hypothesis in Indian Forests. Conservat Soc [serial online] 2005 [cited 2022 Sep 26 ];3:26-42
Available from: https://www.conservationandsociety.org.in//article.asp?issn=0972-4923;year=2005;volume=3;issue=1;spage=26;epage=42;aulast=Hiremath;type=0