Local environmental covariates are important for predicting fire history from tree stem diameters

Lazzari, J, Yoon, H J, Keith, D A and Driscoll, D A 2015, Local environmental covariates are important for predicting fire history from tree stem diameters, International journal of wildland fire, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 871-882, doi: 10.1071/WF15069.

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Title Local environmental covariates are important for predicting fire history from tree stem diameters
Author(s) Lazzari, J
Yoon, H J
Keith, D A
Driscoll, D AORCID iD for Driscoll, D A orcid.org/0000-0002-1560-5235
Journal name International journal of wildland fire
Volume number 24
Issue number 6
Start page 871
End page 882
Total pages 12
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1049-8001
Keyword(s) fragmentation
mallee woodland
plant-stem morphometric
prediction model
time since fire (TSF)
Summary In fire-prone landscapes, knowing when vegetation was last burnt is important for understanding how species respond to fire and to develop effective fire management strategies. However, fire history is often incomplete or non-existent. We developed a fire-age prediction model for two mallee woodland tree species in southern Australia. The models were based on stem diameters from ∼1172 individuals surveyed along 87 transects. Time since fire accounted for the greatest proportion of the explained variation in stem diameter for our two mallee tree species but variation in mean stem diameters was also influenced by local environmental factors. We illustrate a simple tool that enables time since fire to be predicted based on stem diameter and local covariates. We tested our model against new data but it performed poorly with respect to the mapped fire history. A combination of different covariate effects, variation in among-tree competition, including above- and below-ground competition, and unreliable fire history may have contributed to poor model performance. Understanding how the influence of covariates on stem diameter growth varies spatially is critical for determining the generality of models that predict time since fire. Models that were developed in one region may need to be independently verified before they can be reliably applied in new regions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/WF15069
Field of Research 0705 Forestry Sciences
0502 Environmental Science And Management
0602 Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, CSIRO Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30078609

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