Fireproof tropical forest on edge of disappearance –


IMAGE: A brand-new research study led by Swansea University exposes that just 10% of the forest that is left on 2 Indonesian islands stays fireproof. .
. The scientists caution that securing this
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Credit: T. Smith

A brand-new research study led by scientists in the Location Department at Swansea University exposes the severe scale of loss and fragmentation of tropical forests, which when covered much of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

The research study likewise exposes that just 10% of the forest that is left stays fireproof. The scientists caution that securing this is vital for avoiding devastating fire.

Tropical logging intensifies persistent peatland fire occasions in this area. These release internationally substantial greenhouse gas emissions and produce hazardous haze occasions throughout South East Asia.

A location of tropical forest and peatland bigger than the Netherlands has actually burned in Indonesia in the previous 5 years, according to Greenpeace.

Yet the research study reveals that adjoining systems of undisturbed forests are not vulnerable to burning even under existing dry spell conditions.

Dr Tadas Nikonovas of Swansea University, lead author of the research study, discussed:

” Undisturbed tropical rain forests are naturally resistant to fire due to the damp and cool micro-climate they keep, efficiently serving as a fire barrier. Contrary to the widely-held understanding that getting worse dry spells are threatening the staying rain forests, tropical forests in Indonesia end up being vulnerable to fire just after human disruption.”

Nevertheless, the research study likewise exposes that presently just a little portion (~ 10%) of the staying overall tropical forest cover stays fireproof. The rest (~ 90%) has actually been significantly fragmented or abject and for that reason is no longer able to keep a fireproof microclimate.

Significantly, fireproof forests now cover just 3% of the area’s peatlands, leaving big quantities of climate-critical carbon susceptible to burning.

The authors highlight that the preventative function tropical forests bet fire is yet another crucial factor for the conservation and regrowth of the couple of staying adjoining systems of forests.

Dr Allan Spessa of Swansea University, the task leader, included:

” Safeguarding tropical forest is crucial not just for biodiversity and carbon storage however likewise for avoiding future devastating fire episodes. This holds true for Indonesia, along with for tropical forest in Africa and South America”.

The research study was released in a Nature group journal, Communications Earth and Environment


This research study belongs to Swansea University-based Towards Fire Early Caution System for Indonesia (ToFEWSI) task.

Notes to editors

About the research study: The DOI for this paper will be 10.1038/ s43247-020-00069-4. When the paper is released, it will be offered to see online at

For more details please contact the task PI Dr Allan Spessa

or the lead author Dr Tadas Nikonovas

Swansea University is a first-rate, research-led, double school university using a superior trainee experience and has among the very best employability rates of graduates in the UK. The University has the greatest possible ranking for mentor – the Gold ranking in the Mentor Quality Structure (TEF) in 2018 and was applauded for its high percentages of trainees accomplishing regularly impressive results.

Swansea climbed up 14 locations to 31st in the Guardian University Guide 2019, making us Wales’ leading ranked university, with among the very best success rates of graduates getting work in the UK and the exact same general fulfillment level as the Number 1 ranked university.

The 2014 Research Study Quality Structure (REF) 2014 outcomes saw Swansea make the ‘greatest leap amongst research-intensive organizations’ in the UK (Times College, December 2014) and attained its aspiration to be a leading 30 research study University, skyrocketing up the league table to 26th in the UK.

The University remains in the leading 300 finest universities on the planet, ranked in the 251-300 group in The Times College World University rankings 2018. Swansea University now has 23 primary partners, granting joint degrees and post-graduate certifications.

The University was developed in 1920 and was the very first school university in the UK. It presently uses around 350 undergraduate courses and 350 postgraduate courses to circa 20,000 undergraduate and postgraduate trainees. The University has enthusiastic growth strategies as it moves towards its centenary in 2020 and intends to continue to extend its worldwide reach and understand its domestic and global capacity.

Swansea University is a signed up charity. No. 1138342. Go To

For more details:

Kevin Sullivan,
senior press officer,
Swansea University

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