Journal article

Leaf traits predict global patterns in the structure and flammability of forest litter beds

Jamie E Burton, Jane G Cawson, Alex Filkov, Trent D Penman

JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2020


Fallen plant material such as leaves, needles and branches form litter beds which strongly influence fire ignition and spread. Traits of the dominant species influence litter flammability directly by determining how individual leaves burn and indirectly through the structure of the litter bed. However, we are yet to determine the relative importance of these different drivers across a range of plant species from different biomes. We undertook a meta-analysis, combining leaf trait, litter structure and flammability data for 106 species from North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The dataset encompassed broad-leaved and coniferous species from seven different experimental st..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship; Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre