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Decades-scale vegetation change in burned and unburned alpine coniferous heath


Kirkpatrick, JB, Decades-scale vegetation change in burned and unburned alpine coniferous heath, School of Geography & Environmental Studies Conference Abstracts, 2010, 28 June 2010, Sandy Bay (2010) [Conference Extract]


Fire appears to be a rare event in alpine vegetation, suggesting that its effects might be greater and more persistent than in most lowland vegetation types. Climate change may make alpine environments more fire-prone. This paper describes decade-scale succession after fire in long term paired plots over fire boundaries in Tasmanian alpine coniferous heath, assesses its type, trajectories and speed and examines the data for any evidence of climate change. Recovery of vegetation was extremely slow by global standards, conforming, as predicted to the relay floristics model. There was extremely low cover of fire sensitive species 43-69 years after fire and much bare ground still evident, with the rate of revegetation declining through time. Higher soil fertility was related to faster rates of revegetation. Gymnosperm shrubs increased at the expense of angiosperms in the unburned plots in the same period and cryptogams declined in both burned and unburned plots.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:alpine heath, fire, revegetation
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Kirkpatrick, JB (Professor James Kirkpatrick)
ID Code:65561
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2010-11-23
Last Modified:2010-11-23

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