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Climate change and long-term fire management impacts on Australian savannas

Scheiter, Simon, Higgins, Steven I., Beringer, Jason and Hutley, Lindsay B. (2015). Climate change and long-term fire management impacts on Australian savannas. New Phytologist,205(3):1211-1226.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Altmetric Score Altmetric Score is 3
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IRMA ID 84376995xPUB187
Title Climate change and long-term fire management impacts on Australian savannas
Author Scheiter, Simon
Higgins, Steven I.
Beringer, Jason
Hutley, Lindsay B.
Journal Name New Phytologist
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 205
Issue Number 3
ISSN 0028-646x   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84920964213
Start Page 1211
End Page 1226
Total Pages 16
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Field of Research ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Tropical savannas cover a large proportion of the Earth's land surface and many people are dependent on the ecosystem services that savannas supply. Their sustainable management is crucial. Owing to the complexity of savanna vegetation dynamics, climate change and land use impacts on savannas are highly uncertain.

We used a dynamic vegetation model, the adaptive dynamic global vegetation model (aDGVM), to project how climate change and fire management might influence future vegetation in northern Australian savannas.

Under future climate conditions, vegetation can store more carbon than under ambient conditions. Changes in rainfall seasonality influence future carbon storage but do not turn vegetation into a carbon source, suggesting that CO2 fertilization is the main driver of vegetation change. The application of prescribed fires with varying return intervals and burning season influences vegetation and fire impacts. Carbon sequestration is maximized with early dry season fires and long fire return intervals, while grass productivity is maximized with late dry season fires and intermediate fire return intervals.

The study has implications for management policy across Australian savannas because it identifies how fire management strategies may influence grazing yield, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions. This knowledge is crucial to maintaining important ecosystem services of Australian savannas.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.13130   (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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