Wildfires are one of the most important natural disturbances in vegetation biomes. In recent decades, both the number and severity of fires have significantly increased in Mediterranean forests, frequently resulting in catastrophic events. In this scenario, we aimed to explore the flow of ecosystem services and their related economic value that was disrupted by human-induced megafires in the Mediterranean forest of Vesuvius National Park in the summer of 2017. We adopted an innovative approach by merging two methodologies: an ecological approach to evaluate the status of the forest ecosystem after the wildfires and an economics methodology to estimate the monetary value of the interruption to ecosystem services. Losses related to the following six services were estimated: woody biomass, soil erosion control, habitat maintenance, pollination, carbon stock, and ecotourism. In 2017, 3350 ha of forest (88% of the total forested area of Vesuvius National Park) burnt over a period of 49 days. The total estimated monetary loss amounted to €14.363 M, 56.9% of which comprised of provisioning ecosystem services, while 34.7% encompassed maintenance and regulation services, and 8.5% were so-called cultural services. Suppression costs accounted for 16% of the total estimated economic loss of ecosystem services. Our results provide useful insights for decision-makers when allocating financial resources, suggesting that they should invest in fire prevention rather than fire suppression and post-fire restoration. This explicit valuation of the footprint of the wildfires, although not exhaustive, can also lead to greater awareness among the public regarding the benefits conferred by Mediterranean forest ecosystems. This is the first study to economically evaluate the interruption of ecosystem services after megafires in the Mediterranean basin.

The footprint of wildfires on mediterranean forest ecosystem services in vesuvius national park / Silvestro, R.; Saulino, L.; Cavallo, C.; Allevato, E.; Pindozzi, S.; Cervelli, E.; Conti, P.; Mazzoleni, S.; Saracino, A.. - In: FIRE. - ISSN 2571-6255. - 4:4(2021), p. 95. [10.3390/fire4040095]

The footprint of wildfires on mediterranean forest ecosystem services in vesuvius national park

Silvestro R.
Primo
;
Saulino L.
Secondo
;
Cavallo C.;Allevato E.;Pindozzi S.;Cervelli E.;Mazzoleni S.;Saracino A.
2021

Abstract

Wildfires are one of the most important natural disturbances in vegetation biomes. In recent decades, both the number and severity of fires have significantly increased in Mediterranean forests, frequently resulting in catastrophic events. In this scenario, we aimed to explore the flow of ecosystem services and their related economic value that was disrupted by human-induced megafires in the Mediterranean forest of Vesuvius National Park in the summer of 2017. We adopted an innovative approach by merging two methodologies: an ecological approach to evaluate the status of the forest ecosystem after the wildfires and an economics methodology to estimate the monetary value of the interruption to ecosystem services. Losses related to the following six services were estimated: woody biomass, soil erosion control, habitat maintenance, pollination, carbon stock, and ecotourism. In 2017, 3350 ha of forest (88% of the total forested area of Vesuvius National Park) burnt over a period of 49 days. The total estimated monetary loss amounted to €14.363 M, 56.9% of which comprised of provisioning ecosystem services, while 34.7% encompassed maintenance and regulation services, and 8.5% were so-called cultural services. Suppression costs accounted for 16% of the total estimated economic loss of ecosystem services. Our results provide useful insights for decision-makers when allocating financial resources, suggesting that they should invest in fire prevention rather than fire suppression and post-fire restoration. This explicit valuation of the footprint of the wildfires, although not exhaustive, can also lead to greater awareness among the public regarding the benefits conferred by Mediterranean forest ecosystems. This is the first study to economically evaluate the interruption of ecosystem services after megafires in the Mediterranean basin.
2021
The footprint of wildfires on mediterranean forest ecosystem services in vesuvius national park / Silvestro, R.; Saulino, L.; Cavallo, C.; Allevato, E.; Pindozzi, S.; Cervelli, E.; Conti, P.; Mazzoleni, S.; Saracino, A.. - In: FIRE. - ISSN 2571-6255. - 4:4(2021), p. 95. [10.3390/fire4040095]
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Silvestro_et_al_2021_Wildfire_footprint_Fire.pdf

accesso aperto

Licenza: Non specificato
Dimensione 4.94 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.94 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/868533
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 15
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 14
social impact