Optimal fire management for maintaining community diversity

Richards, Shane A., Possingham, Hugh P. and Tizard, James (1999) Optimal fire management for maintaining community diversity. Ecological Applications, 9 3: 880-892. doi:10.1890/1051-0761(1999)009[0880:OFMFMC]2.0.CO;2

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Author Richards, Shane A.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Tizard, James
Title Optimal fire management for maintaining community diversity
Journal name Ecological Applications   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1051-0761
Publication date 1999-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1890/1051-0761(1999)009[0880:OFMFMC]2.0.CO;2
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 9
Issue 3
Start page 880
End page 892
Total pages 13
Place of publication Tempe, Ariz.
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Language eng
Abstract Disturbance events strongly influence the dynamics of plant and animal populations within nature reserves. Although many models predict the patterns of succession following a disturbance event, it is often unclear how these models can be used to help make management decisions about disturbances. In this paper we consider the problem of managing fire in Ngarkat Conservation park (CP), South Australia, Australia. We present a methematical model of community succession following a fire disturbance event. Ngarkat CP is a key habitat for several nationally rare and threatened species of birds, and because these species prefer different successional communities, we assume that the primary management objective is to maintain community diversity within the park. More specifically, the aim of management is to keep at least a certain fraction of the park, (e.g. 20%) in each of three successional stages. We assume that each year a manager may do one of the following: let wildfires burn unhindered, fight wildfires, or perform controlled burns. We apply stochastic dynamic programming to identify which of these three strategies is optimal, i.e. the one most likely to promote community diversity. Model results indicate that the optimal management strategy depends on the current state of the park, the cost associated with each strategy, and the time frame over which the manager has set his/her goal.
Keyword Australia
biodiversity conservation
community succession
decision theory
disturbance events
fire management
Markov model
stochastic dynamic programming
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes Originally published as Richards, Shane A., Possingham, Hugh P., and Tizard, James (1999) Optimal Fire Management for Maintaining Community Diversity, Ecological Applications, 9 (3): 880-892. Copyright 1999 The Ecological Society of America.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: AEDA Publications
Spatial Ecology Lab Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Created: Thu, 13 Jan 2005, 10:00:00 EST by Hugh P. Possingham on behalf of Library Corporate Services