adams-survivingsuppression-2004.pdf (266.02 kB)
Surviving suppression : no detectable impacts of Class A foam on soil invertebrates and some Australian native plants
conference contributionposted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by Robyn Adams, Dianne Simmons, K Hartskeerl, M Koehler
Firefighting foams (Class A foams) are an effective and widespread firefighting tool which are frequently used in environmentally sensitive areas. Firefighting foams are known to be ecologically damaging in aquatic environments, however their impacts at the plant species or ecosystem level are relatively unknown. Reports of shoot damage to plants, suppressed flowering, and changes in plant community composition suggested that the ecological damage caused by their use may be unacceptable. However, applications of foam to seedlings of some Australian plant species from representative and widespread families, showed no detectable impacts on a range of vegetative growth characteristics. Application of 1.0% foam to heathland soils showed no detectable impacts on soil invertebrate Orders sampled over several months. The results are encouraging for the continued use of Class A foam as a fire suppression technique.