Effects of fire history on the structure and floristic composition of woody vegetation around Kalumburu, North Kimberley, Australia: A landscape-scale natural experiment

January 2004 — Australian Journal of Botany 52(3)
DOI: 10.1071/BT03156
Tom Vigilante, David M. J. S. Bowman

Indigenous landscape burning is practiced around remote communities in the Kimberleys but has been replaced by wildfires across uninhabited areas. A landscape-scale natural experiment was established to investigate the effects of these different fire histories (derived from a 10-year Landsat remote-sensing sequence) on the floristic structure and composition of woody vegetation within and among three of the major vegetation types on three landscape types (sandplain, sandstone and volcanics) near Kalumburu in the North Kimberley bioregion. Substrate factors determine vegetation and associated fire patterns within the landscape such that each landscape type needs to be examined independently. Basalt soils are dominated by an open savanna and tend to have very high fire frequencies. Basalt vegetation showed few significant response variables to fire-history parameters…

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