Trends and gaps of the scientific literature about the effects of fire on Brazilian Cerrado

Filipe Viegas de Arruda, Diego Guimarães de Sousa, Fabrício Barreto Teresa, Vitor Hugo Mendonça do Prado, Hélida Ferreira da Cunha, Thiago Junqueira Izzo
2018 Biota Neotropica  
Fire management is an important issue in the Brazilian Cerrado, since both anthropogenic high intensity fires and complete fire suppression can reduce the biodiversity in this biome. In this paper, we highlight the trends in scientific literature about fire effects in the Cerrado, aiming to detect possible gaps and to indicate directions of future scientific research. We searched for articles in the periodic database Web of Knowledge from 1991 to 2016, and observed an increase in the number of
more » ... e in the number of publications throughout the years. Most articles were associated with Brazilian institutions (58%), followed by those with collaboration between Brazilian and international institutions (33%), and those published by authors exclusively from international institutions (9%). Most articles addressed the effects of fire on biodiversity (77%), followed by articles about abiotic environment (19%), and then biotic interactions or interactions between organisms and environment (4%). The most studied taxonomic group was plants (75%), followed by mammals (8%) and insects (6%), with the remaining taxa comprising about 11% of publications. The Federal District was the federative unit with the greatest number of studies (31%). The majority of studies was conducted in areas with fewer fire events, whereas areas with major incidence of fires are poorly studied. Our data shows that studies on the effect of fires on the Brazilian Cerrado are geographically and taxonomically biased. This lack of knowledge limits the extrapolations about the effects of fire on this biome. Therefore, we emphasize the need for investment in research in areas with high fire frequency and also for an increase in knowledge about these effects on the biota, especially on the fauna. This action is fundamental to support the development of public policies for effective and directed fire management in the Cerrado.
doi:10.1590/1676-0611-bn-2017-0426 fatcat:376n5o3xl5cjrmn6uhqo3mpn44