Future changes in climatic water balance determine potential for transformational shifts in Australian fire regimes

Boer, Matthias M., Bowman, David M. J. S., Murphy, Brett P., Cary, Geoffrey J., Cochrane, Mark A., Fensham, Roderick J., Krawchuk, Meg A., Price, Owen F., Resco De Dios, Victor, Williams, Richard J. and Bradstock, Ross A. (2016) Future changes in climatic water balance determine potential for transformational shifts in Australian fire regimes. Environmental Research Letters, 11 6: . doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/6/065002


Author Boer, Matthias M.
Bowman, David M. J. S.
Murphy, Brett P.
Cary, Geoffrey J.
Cochrane, Mark A.
Fensham, Roderick J.
Krawchuk, Meg A.
Price, Owen F.
Resco De Dios, Victor
Williams, Richard J.
Bradstock, Ross A.
Title Future changes in climatic water balance determine potential for transformational shifts in Australian fire regimes
Journal name Environmental Research Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1748-9326
Publication date 2016-06-02
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1088/1748-9326/11/6/065002
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 6
Total pages 13
Place of publication Bristol, United Kingdom
Publisher Institute of Physics Publishing
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Most studies of climate change effects on fire regimes assume a gradual reorganization of pyrogeographic patterns and have not considered the potential for transformational changes in the climate-vegetation-fire relationships underlying continental-scale fire regimes. Here, we model current fire activity levels in Australia as a function of mean annual actual evapotranspiration (E) and potential evapotranspiration (E0), as proxies for fuel productivity and fuel drying potential. We distinguish two domains in E, E0 space according to the dominant constraint on fire activity being either fuel productivity (PL-type fire) or fuel dryness (DL-type fire) and show that the affinity to these domains is related to fuel type. We propose to assess the potential for transformational shifts in fire type from the difference in the affinity to either domain under a baseline climate and projected future climate. Under the projected climate changes potential for a transformational shift from DL- to PL-type fire was predicted for mesic savanna woodland in the north and for eucalypt forests in coastal areas of the south-west and along the Continental Divide in the south-east of the continent. Potential for a shift from PL- to DL-type fire was predicted for a narrow zone of eucalypt savanna woodland in the north-east.
Keyword Climate change
Climatic water balance
Fire regimes
Fuel type
Transformation
Tree cover
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 24 Jul 2016, 00:27:11 EST by System User on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)