Journal article

Repeated prescribed fires decrease stocks and change attributes of coarse woody debris in a temperate eucalypt forest

Cristina Aponte, Kevin G Tolhurst, Lauren T Bennett

Ecological Applications | WILEY | Published : 2014

Abstract

Previous studies have found negligible effects of single prescribed fires on coarse woody debris (CWD), but the cumulative effects of repeated low-intensity prescribed fires are unknown. This represents a knowledge gap for environmental management because repeated prescribed fires are a key tool for mitigating wildfire risk, and because CWD is recognized as critical to forest biodiversity and functioning. We examined the effects of repeated low-intensity prescribed fires on the attributes and stocks of (fallen) CWD in a mixed-species eucalypt forest of temperate Australia. Prescribed fire treatments were a factorial combination of two seasons (Autumn, Spring) and two frequencies (three yearl..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI). We thank many personnel from DEPI's (then) Environmental Policy and Climate Change, Land and Fire, and Forests and Parks Divisions for supporting this study's measurements. We also thank many current and past staff from the regional DEPI, and from the University of Melbourne for maintaining, measuring, and documenting the prescribed fire treatments for over two decades, including J. Kellas, D. Oswin, A. Ashton, J. Najera, B. Smith, T. Baker, and M. Low.