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Multiscale modelling of the drivers of rainforest boundary dynamics in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia

Banfai, Daniel S., Brook, Barry W. and Bowman, David (2007). Multiscale modelling of the drivers of rainforest boundary dynamics in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia. Diversity and Distributions: a journal of conservation biogeography,13(6):680-691.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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IRMA ID A00004xPUB79
Title Multiscale modelling of the drivers of rainforest boundary dynamics in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia
Author Banfai, Daniel S.
Brook, Barry W.
Bowman, David
Journal Name Diversity and Distributions: a journal of conservation biogeography
Publication Date 2007
Volume Number 13
Issue Number 6
ISSN 1472-4642   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-35448958521
Start Page 680
End Page 691
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication Oxford, UK
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Field of Research 0502 - Environmental Science and Management
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Understanding the relative importance of factors driving savanna–forest dynamics is vital as changes in the extent of tropical forests can have major impacts on global climate and carbon balance, biodiversity, and human well-being. Comparison of aerial photographs for 50 rainforest patches in Kakadu National Park had previously revealed a landscape wide expansion of rainforest boundaries between 1964 and 2004. Here, we used generalized linear and mixed effects models to assess the role of fire, buffalo impact, and patch characteristics in determining the rate of boundary change. The analysis was conducted at both the patch scale, and within-patch (plot) scale, to capture the different processes operating. At the patch scale, the rate of change was best explained by rainforest type and historical buffalo impact. Fire activity, patch size, and fragmentation were not important predictors of the rate of change. At the plot scale, distance from rainforest edge was the most important predictor of the probability of change, while the fragmentation and aspect of the boundary were unimportant. Rainforest expansion has occurred through a process of margin extension rather than eruption of new patches. The rainforest expansion is consistent with having been driven primarily by shifts in global change phenomena, such as increased rainfall and atmospheric CO2, rather than changes in disturbance regime. It appears that the current fire regimes are not sufficiently destructive to limit the overall expansion of the rainforest patches. Rainforest type and historical buffalo impact have mediated the rate of change at the patch scale.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-4642.2007.00371.x   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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