On the relationship between fire regime and vegetation structure in the tropics

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Title: On the relationship between fire regime and vegetation structure in the tropics
Author(s): Veenendaal, EM
Torello-Raventos, M
Miranda, HS
Sato, N
Oliveras,, I
Van Langevelde,, F
Smit, IPJ
Asner, GP
LLoyd, J
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We assessed data from 11 experiments examining the effects of the timing and/or frequency of fire on tropical forest and/or savanna vegetation structure over one decade or more. The initial ‘control treatment’ in many such cases consisted of previously cleared land. This is as opposed to natural vegetation subject to some sort of endogenous fire regime before the imposition of fire treatments. Effects of fire on fractional foliar cover are up to 10‐fold greater when clearing pre‐treatments are imposed. Moreover, because many of the ‘classic’ fire trials were initialised with applied management questions in mind, most have also used burning regimes much more frequent and/or severe than those occurring in the absence of human activity. Once these factors are taken into account, our modelling analysis shows that nonanthropogenic fire regimes serve to reduce canopy vegetative cover to a much lower extent than has previously been argued to be the case. These results call into question the notion that fire effects on tropical vegetation can be of a sufficient magnitude to maintain open‐type savanna ecosystems under climatic/soil regimes otherwise sufficient to give rise to a more luxurious forest‐type vegetation cover.
Publication Date: 1-Apr-2018
Date of Acceptance: 28-Oct-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/53513
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.14940
ISSN: 0028-646X
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 153
End Page: 166
Journal / Book Title: New Phytologist
Volume: 218
Issue: 1
Sponsor/Funder: The Royal Society
Funder's Grant Number: WM130043
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article, which has been published in final form at https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nph.14940
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Plant Sciences
alternative stable states
feedbacks
fire ecology
forest
savannah
ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS VARIATION
AMAZONIAN TREE MORTALITY
FOREST TRANSITION ZONES
RAIN-FOREST
SAVANNA VEGETATION
WEST-AFRICA
EXPERIMENTAL DROUGHT
COOCCURRING SAVANNA
BURNING EXPERIMENTS
HERBACEOUS BIOMASS
06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Plant Biology & Botany
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2018-01-07
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences



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