GR: Recovery of these tropical forests through the natural processes of ecological succession may not occur because of the intensity and large size of the fires. High intensity destroys buried propagules and soil microorganisms; large size slows propagule dispersal from surrounding unburned sites. An additional problem is that initial pioneer vegetation on burned sites is often highly flammable. This can increase fire frequency and prevent recovery of long-lived native plants.
It’s official, the 2015 Indonesian wildfires are the worst that Island nation has ever experienced. Worse than even the terrible 1997 wildfires and possibly the worst wildfire disaster ever. And it’s all an upshot of what happens when slash and burn agriculture meets a once lush land now sweltering in a human hothouse world.
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There’s been something dreadfully wrong with Indonesia’s forests and peatlands ever since massive fires ignited across that island nation back in 1997. Back then, a monster El Nino — combined with heat from massive human greenhouse gas emissions — pushed the world to 0.7 to 0.8 C hotter than 1880s averages. Equatorial temperatures would never again fall to a normal threshold. And as the lands and surrounding oceans warmed, the dry season lengthened and the rainy season shortened.
Slash and burn agriculture, a mainstay practice for the region ever since industrial…
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