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Relationships between fire frequency and woody canopy cover in a semi-arid African savanna

Posted date: February 16, 2007
Publication Year: 
2003
Authors: Hudak, Andrew T.; Brockett, Bruce H.
Publication Series: 
Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Source: In: Allsopp, N.; Palmer, A.R.; Milton, S.J.; Kirkman, K.P.; Kerley, G.I.H.; Hurt, C.R.; C.J. Brown, C.J, eds. Proceedings of the VIIth International Rangelands Congress; 2003 26th July - 1st, Durban, South Africa. CD-ROM. p. 359-361.

Abstract

Landscape-scale fire patterns result from complex interactions among weather, ignition sources, vegetation type and the biophysical environment (Hargrove et al. 2000, Morgan et al. 2001, Keane et al. 2002, Hudak, Fairbanks & Brockett in press). Patch characteristics (e.g. woody canopy cover) influence fire characteristics, which in turn influence patch characteristics in a spatially and temporally autocorrelated system (Forman 1995, Morgan et al. 2001). In some cases fire mediates switches between alternative vegetation types resulting in positive fire-vegetation interactions (Vilà et al. 2001), and these interactions are in turn modified by land use practices. Turner et al. (1989) simulated relationships between the intensity, frequency and size of disturbance events, and suggested that disturbance characteristics (habitat, intensity, frequency, area affected) have important implications for the management of fire-prone ecosystems. Our objective was to establish relationships between fire frequency and woody canopy cover across a semi-arid savanna that varied in land use and fire management.

Citation

Hudak, Andrew T.; Brockett, Bruce H. 2003. Relationships between fire frequency and woody canopy cover in a semi-arid African savanna. In: Allsopp, N.; Palmer, A.R.; Milton, S.J.; Kirkman, K.P.; Kerley, G.I.H.; Hurt, C.R.; C.J. Brown, C.J, eds. Proceedings of the VIIth International Rangelands Congress; 2003 26th July - 1st, Durban, South Africa. CD-ROM. p. 359-361.