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Determinants of growth of the flammable grass, Triodia scariosa: consequences for fuel dynamics under climate change in the Mediterranean region of South Eastern Australia

Gibson, Rebecca K., Bradstock, Ross A., Penman, Trent, Keith, David A. and Driscoll, Don A. 2016, Determinants of growth of the flammable grass, Triodia scariosa: consequences for fuel dynamics under climate change in the Mediterranean region of South Eastern Australia, Austral ecology, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 594-603, doi: 10.1111/aec.12348.

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Title Determinants of growth of the flammable grass, Triodia scariosa: consequences for fuel dynamics under climate change in the Mediterranean region of South Eastern Australia
Author(s) Gibson, Rebecca K.
Bradstock, Ross A.
Penman, Trent
Keith, David A.
Driscoll, Don A.ORCID iD for Driscoll, Don A. orcid.org/0000-0002-1560-5235
Journal name Austral ecology
Volume number 41
Issue number 6
Start page 594
End page 603
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2016-09
ISSN 1442-9985
1442-9993
Summary Environmental conditions may influence the presence and strength of competitive interactions between different life forms, thereby shaping community composition and structure, and corresponding fuel dynamics. Woodland and shrubland communities of the Mediterranean climate region of South Eastern Australia contain a varied mixture of herbaceous and woody plants. The ratio of herbaceous to woody plants changes along gradients of temperature, moisture and soil fertility. This study aimed to experimentally examine the relative importance of, and interactions between environmental controls (moisture and soil fertility) on the balance of dominant herbaceous (Triodia scariosa) and woody plants (e.g. Acacia ligulata and Leptospermum coriaceum) and their ultimate effects on fuel and fire regimes. The results suggest that environmental determinants of the growth of T. scariosa are likely to be more important than interactions with shrubs in controlling the distribution of T. scariosa. The growth of T. scariosa was consistently higher under hot temperatures and on the less fertile yellow sands, which dominate the south of the region. The results suggest that there is strong potential for the distribution and abundance of T. scariosa to be altered in the future with changes in temperature associated with climate change. The distribution of soil types across the Mediterranean climate region of South Eastern Australia may be predisposed to favour the southerly expansion of T. scariosa-dominated communities in the future under a warmer climate.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/aec.12348
Field of Research 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
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 ©2016, Ecological Society of Australia
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30082293

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