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Title: Relationships between soil temperatures and properties of fire in feathertop spinifex ('Triodia schinzii' (Henrard) Lazarides) sandridge desert in central Australia
Contributor(s): Wright, Boyd  (author)orcid ; Clarke, Peter John  (author)
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1071/RJ07049
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Abstract: Soil temperatures during wildfires are known to influence seed bank and plant resprouting dynamics in arid Australian grasslands. Nevertheless, relationships between soil temperatures and factors such as fuel load, fuel type, season of burn, time-of-day and soil moisture are poorly understood. This study used small-scale experimental burns to determine the effects of these five variables on soil temperature profiles (0-4 cm) during fire in spinifex sandridge country in the Haasts Bluff Aboriginal Reserve, west of Alice Springs. Fuel load and type were found to strongly influence soil temperatures, with soils directly beneath 'Triodia' hummocks experiencing more heating than mulga ('Acacia aneura' F.Muell. ex. Benth.) litter or 'Aristida holathera' Domin. tussocks. Season and time-of-day also had strong effects on below-ground heating, with soil temperatures remaining elevated for longer periods during summer compared to winter burns, and day-time burns producing higher temperature maxima and longer durations of elevated soil temperatures than night burns. Soil moisture also had a strong impact on temperature profiles during fire, with high levels of soil moisture strongly reducing the soil heating during fire. These results indicate that the examined factors will strongly influence soil temperature regimes during spinifex wildfires. Hence, they are likely to affect the composition of plant assemblages in post-fire environments through their impacts on vegetative regeneration and on seed bank processes.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: The Rangeland Journal, 30(3), p. 317-325
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
ISSN: 1036-9872
Field of Research (FOR): 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 960804 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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