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Pyrodiversity is the coupling of biodiversity and fire regimes in food webs


Bowman, DMJS and Perry, GLW and Higgins, SI and Johnson, CN and Fuhlendorf, SD and Murphy, BP, Pyrodiversity is the coupling of biodiversity and fire regimes in food webs, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371, (1696) Article 20150169. ISSN 0962-8436 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2016 The Author(s)

DOI: doi:10.1098/rstb.2015.0169


Fire positively and negatively affects food webs across all trophic levels and guilds and influences a range of ecological processes that reinforce fire regimes, such as nutrient cycling and soil development, plant regeneration and growth, plant community assembly and dynamics, herbivory and predation. Thus we argue that rather than merely describing spatio-temporal patterns of fire regimes, pyrodiversity must be understood in terms of feedbacks between fire regimes, biodiversity and ecological processes. Humans shape pyrodiversity both directly, by manipulating the intensity, severity, frequency and extent of fires, and indirectly, by influencing the abundance and distribution of various trophic guilds through hunting and husbandry of animals, and introduction and cultivation of plant species. Conceptualizing landscape fire as deeply embedded in food webs suggests that the restoration of degraded ecosystems requires the simultaneous careful management of fire regimes and native and invasive plants and animals, and may include introducing new vertebrates to compensate for extinctions that occurred in the recent and more distant past.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:anthropogenic burning, ecosystem engineer, feedbacks, landscape fire, pyrogeography, trophic interactions
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CN (Professor Christopher Johnson)
ID Code:112316
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:100
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2016-11-03
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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