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Fire futures for a megadiverse continent


Williams, RJ and Bowman, DMJS, Fire futures for a megadiverse continent, New Phytologist, 196, (2) pp. 337-340. ISSN 0028-646X (2012) [Letter or Note in Journal]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04342.x


Climate change has the capacity to fundamentally alter global fire regimes. The Australian continent is megadiverse with respect to both biodiversity, and fire regimes. It is an ideal ‘laboratory’ within which interactions between climate change, fire regimes, ecosystems and people can be examined. Leading fire researchers and senior fire and biodiversity managers met at a recent national workshop in Hobart, Australia, to discuss these complex interactions, and how fire management may adapt to the challenges of the coming century. Regional responses of fire regimes to climate change may vary. Fire activity may increase due to rising temperatures and decreasing humidity. Alternatively, fire activity may decrease if ecosystem productivity decreases due to declining rainfall. Climate change will also interact with other drivers, such as the spread of alien species, to alter fire regimes. Such changes in fire regimes may lead to gradual changes in ecosystem composition and structure, or the changes may be rapid and transformational. How fire is managed under climate change scenarios will also have effects on biodiversity. Targeted ecosystem monitoring in the field and enhanced national fire regime mapping capacity are both critical to predicting and managing ecosystem changes resulting from climate change-induced changes to fire regimes.

Item Details

Item Type:Letter or Note in Journal
Keywords:Australia, biodiversity, climate change, ecological monitoring, fire regimes, fuels, invasive species
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:Natural hazards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:83467
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2013-03-14
Last Modified:2013-06-27

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