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Review article2024Peer reviewed

Unraveling the impact of wildfires on permafrost ecosystems: Vulnerability, implications, and management strategies

Rebi, Ansa; Wang, Guan; Irfan, Muhammad; Hussain, Azfar; Mustafa, Adnan; Flynn, Trevan; Ejaz, Irsa; Raza, Taqi; Mushtaq, Parsa; Rizwan, Muhammad; Zhou, Jinxing


Permafrost regions play an important role in global carbon and nitrogen cycling, storing enormous amounts of organic carbon and preserving a delicate balance of nutrient dynamics. However, the increasing frequency and severity of wildfires in these regions pose significant challenges to the stability of these ecosystems. This review examines the effects of fire on chemical, biological, and physical properties of permafrost regions. The physical, chemical, and pedological properties of frozen soil are impacted by fires, leading to changes in soil structure, porosity, and hydrological functioning. The combustion of organic matter during fires releases carbon and nitrogen, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient loss. Understanding the interactions between fire severity, ecosystem processes, and the implications for permafrost regions is crucial for predicting the impacts of wildfires and developing effective strategies for ecosystem protection and agricultural productivity in frozen soils. By synthesizing available knowledge and research findings, this review enhances our understanding of fire severity's implications for permafrost ecosystems and offers insights into effective fire management strategies.


Permafrost; Nutrient cycling; Carbon sequestration; Microbes; Fire intensity

Published in

Journal of Environmental Management
2024, Volume: 358, article number: 120917

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences
    Environmental Management

    Publication identifier


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