Forests’ long-term capacity to store carbon is dropping in regions with extreme annual fires


Credit: Corli Coetsee

More intense and frequent fires are reducing the size of tree communities in many regions of the world.
Slower-growing tree species are better at surviving fires, but these may capture less atmospheric carbon and reduce nutrient availability in the soil.
Not all regions are suitable for planting trees to tackle climate change; schemes must consider local wildfire frequency, vegetation cover and climate, and how these might change over time.
Researchers have analysed decades’ worth of data on the impact of repeated fires on ecosystems across the world. T