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Demographic effects of severe fire in montane shrublands on Tasmania's Central Plateau


Foulkes, J and Prior, L and Leonard, S and Bowman, D, Demographic effects of severe fire in montane shrublands on Tasmania's Central Plateau, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, Melbourne (2021) [Contract Report]

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Australian montane sclerophyll shrubland vegetation is considered to be resilient to infrequent severe fire but this may not be the case in Tasmanian shrublands. Our research reports on the regeneration response of a Tasmanian non-coniferous woody montane shrubland following a severe fire. The 2019 Great Pine Tier fire in the Central Plateau Conservation Area was a severe crown fire that killed all above ground vegetation in the shrubland. Our field survey revealed that less than 1% of the burnt plants were not top-killed by the fire, and only 5% of the burnt plants were observed to be resprouting one year following the fire. Such a low resprouting rate means the resilience of the shrubland depends on seedling regeneration from aerial and soil seedbanks or colonisation from plants outside the fire ground. The low number of resprouters within the shrubland suggest that it may not be as resilient to fire as mainland Australian montane shrubland. As a consequence, our research highlights the fragility of the shrubland under a warming climate and potential increase in fire frequency.

Item Details

Item Type:Contract Report
Keywords:Tasmania, montane shrubland, fire severity, crown fire, post-fire regeneration response, Orites revoluta
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Natural hazards
Objective Field:Climatological hazards (e.g. extreme temperatures, drought and wildfires)
UTAS Author:Foulkes, J (Ms Judy Foulkes)
UTAS Author:Prior, L (Dr Lynda Prior)
UTAS Author:Bowman, D (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:147507
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2021-11-05
Last Modified:2021-11-08

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