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Fire frequency matters more than fire size: Testing the pyrodiversity-biodiversity paradigm for at-risk small mammals in an Australian tropical savanna

Griffiths, Anthony D., Garnett, Stephen T. and Brook, Barry W. (2015). Fire frequency matters more than fire size: Testing the pyrodiversity-biodiversity paradigm for at-risk small mammals in an Australian tropical savanna. Biological Conservation,186:337-346.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 84376995xPUB204
Title Fire frequency matters more than fire size: Testing the pyrodiversity-biodiversity paradigm for at-risk small mammals in an Australian tropical savanna
Author Griffiths, Anthony D.
Garnett, Stephen T.
Brook, Barry W.
Journal Name Biological Conservation
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 186
ISSN 0006-3207   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84927925133
Start Page 337
End Page 346
Total Pages 10
Place of Publication Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Patch-mosaic burning is a widely accepted practical approach to managing biodiversity, whereby spatial and temporal diversity of fire is manipulated to benefit biotic diversity. We use simulation experiments based on stochastic population viability analysis to evaluate the implications of contrasting patch-mosaic burning scenarios for the population dynamics and risk of decline of four species of small mammals in northern Australia. Our results, based on models developed from detailed mark-recapture data, suggest that fire frequency has more influence on small-mammal persistence than fire extent. Risk of extinction increased for all four species when fire frequency exceeded once every five years. Under current ambient fire regimes most Australia tropical savannas burn more frequently and therefore seem to have unfavourable consequences for this faunal group and risk precipitating severe future declines.
Keywords Extinction
Fire intensity
Fire management
Population viability analysis
Savanna
Threatened species
Simulation experiment
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.03.021   (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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