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Title: Habitat features of open forests and woodlands in relation to disturbance by fire
Contributor(s): Croft, Peter (author); Hunter, John (supervisor); Reid, Nick (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2015
Copyright Date: 2013
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Extensive bushfires have been a recurring feature in the forests and woodlands of south-eastern Australia and the threat from fire to both the community and the environment is forecast to grow as the incidence of fire and drought is predicted to increase due to climate change. Notwithstanding the loss of life and property caused by these fires and demands from the community for protection from fire by increasing the area of hazard reduction burning, the effects of such burning on fauna, flora and wildlife habitat have not been fully considered. This omission assumes greater importance as attrition of fauna habitat attributes from the landscape has been exacerbated by clearing, urbanisation and other forms of habitat destruction and modification. Thresholds for burning vegetation communities in New South Wales (NSW) are based on plant species' responses to fire and do not consider multi-factorial issues such as drought, site attributes or fauna requirements. The aim of the research reported in this thesis was to investigate knowledge gaps concerning the impact of fire on habitat features of open forests and woodlands on the Northern Tablelands and North-West Slopes of NSW, to extend understanding of the nexus between fire and species diversity to encompass environmental variables at a landscape scale and to consider the adequacy of the theory of fire management based on traits of flora species' fire responses. The consequences of managing fire at broader scales are complex and this study tests ideas concerning the incorporation of severe drought and landscape attributes into fire planning and biodiversity conservation beyond the use of fire as a single issue management tool.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
050209 Natural Resource Management
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Rights Statement: Copyright 2013 - Peter Croft
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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