Modelling the potential for prescribed burning to mitigate carbon emissions from wildfires in fire-prone forests of Australia

Bradstock, R. A., Boer, M. M., Cary, G. J., Price, O. F., Williams, R. J., Barrett, D., Cook, G., Gill, A. M., Hutley, L. B. W., Keith, H., Maier, S. W., Meyer, M., Roxburgh, S. H. and Russell-Smith, J. (2012) Modelling the potential for prescribed burning to mitigate carbon emissions from wildfires in fire-prone forests of Australia. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 21 6: 629-639. doi:10.1071/WF11023


Author Bradstock, R. A.
Boer, M. M.
Cary, G. J.
Price, O. F.
Williams, R. J.
Barrett, D.
Cook, G.
Gill, A. M.
Hutley, L. B. W.
Keith, H.
Maier, S. W.
Meyer, M.
Roxburgh, S. H.
Russell-Smith, J.
Total Author Count Override 14
Title Modelling the potential for prescribed burning to mitigate carbon emissions from wildfires in fire-prone forests of Australia
Journal name International Journal of Wildland Fire   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1049-8001
1448-5516
Publication date 2012-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/WF11023
Volume 21
Issue 6
Start page 629
End page 639
Total pages 11
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher CSIRO
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Prescribed fire can potentially reduce carbon emissions from unplanned fires. This potential will differ among ecosystems owing to inherent differences in the efficacy of prescribed burning in reducing unplanned fire activity (or 'leverage', i.e. the reduction in area of unplanned fire per unit area of prescribed fire). In temperate eucalypt forests, prescribed burning leverage is relatively low and potential for mitigation of carbon emissions from unplanned fires via prescribed fire is potentially limited. Simulations of fire regimes accounting for non-linear patterns of fuel dynamics for three fuel types characteristic of eucalypt forests in south-eastern Australia supported this prediction. Estimated mean annual fuel consumption increased with diminishing leverage and increasing rate of prescribed burning, even though average fire intensity (prescribed and unplanned fires combined) decreased. The results indicated that use of prescribed burning in these temperate forests is unlikely to yield a net reduction in carbon emissions. Future increases in burning rates under climate change may increase emissions and reduce carbon sequestration. A more detailed understanding of the efficacy of prescribed burning and dynamics of combustible biomass pools is required to clarify the potential for mitigation of carbon emissions in temperate eucalypt forests and other ecosystems.
Keyword Eucalyptus
Fire management
Fire regimes
Fuel
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry
Official 2013 Collection
 
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