For the next decades, climate in Mediterranean region is expected to be 25% warmer over the year than the rest of the planet with up to 40% warming peak in summer. These increasing heatwaves in combination with drought and land-use change (decrease of grazing or protected lands, both increasing tree connectivity) are likely to cause higher fire risks, longer fire seasons and more frequent, large, and severe fires.
From an evolutionary perspective, under relatively stable climatic conditions (the last 7,000 years), disturbances such as fire activity are key to understand the plant traits distribution, the functional diversity (multifunctionality of plant assemblages), and, ultimately, the Mediterranean vegetation vulnerability to fire regime change.
This project has three main objectives :

  • (1) quantifying the long-term fire regime (frequency, intensity) and vegetation composition in the French Mediterranean area,
  • (2) assessing the effects of fires on vegetation dynamics and plant trait distribution, and
  • (3) quantifying past functional diversity and its response to past fire regime and to the recent increase of the fire frequency.