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Effects of invasive alien plants on fire regimes

Brooks, M.L., D'Antonio, C.M., Richardson, D.M., Grace, J.B., Keeley, J.E., DiTomaso, J.M., Hobbs, R.J., Pellant, M. and Pyke, D. (2004) Effects of invasive alien plants on fire regimes. BioScience, 54 (7). pp. 677-688.

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    Abstract

    Plant invasions are widely recognized as significant threats to biodiversity conservation worldwide. One way invasions can affect native ecosystems is by changing fuel properties, which can in turn affect fire behavior and, ultimately, alter fire regime characteristics such as frequency, intensity, extent, type, and seasonality of fire. If the regime changes subsequently promote the dominance of the invaders, then an invasive plant-fire regime cycle can be established. As more ecosystem components and interactions are altered, restoration of preinvasion conditions becomes more difficult. Restoration may require managing fuel conditions, fire regimes, native plant communities, and other ecosystem properties in addition to the invaders that caused the changes in the first place. We present a multiphase model describing the interrelationships between plant invaders and fire regimes, provide a system for evaluating the relative effects of invaders and prioritizing them for control, and recommend ways to restore preinvasion fire regime properties.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
    Publisher: American Institute of Biological Sciences
    Copyright: © 2004 American Institute of Biological Science
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/4634
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