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Does firefighting foam affect the growth of some Australian native plants?

journal contribution
posted on 2004-11-01, 00:00 authored by K Hartskeerl, Dianne Simmons, Robyn Adams
Firefighting foams (Class A foams) are an effective and widespread firefighting tool, and are frequently used in environmentally sensitive areas. They 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 suggest that the environmental damage caused by their use may be unacceptable. Applications of four levels of foam to seedlings of seven Australian plant species, from five representative and widespread families, showed no detectable impacts on a range of vegetative growth characteristics. The results are encouraging for continued use of firefighting foam in sensitive natural habitats.

History

Journal

International journal of wildland fire

Volume

13

Issue

3

Pagination

335 - 341

Publisher

CSIRO Publishing

Location

Collingwood, Vic.

ISSN

1049-8001

eISSN

1448-5516

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2004, IAWF