Long term effects of repeated burning on understory containing rare vegetation communities
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): B. Lord
Editor(s): J. M. Greenlee
Publication Year: 1997

Cataloging Information

  • Acacia spp.
  • burning intervals
  • Callitris
  • Canada
  • community ecology
  • computer programs
  • conservation
  • eucalyptus
  • ferns
  • fire danger rating
  • fire frequency
  • fire intensity
  • fire regimes
  • fuel loading
  • grasslands
  • herbivory
  • litter
  • Melaleuca
  • multiple resource management
  • New South Wales
  • perennial plants
  • predation
  • season of fire
  • senescence
  • shrublands
  • statistical analysis
  • succession
  • threatened and endangered species (plants)
  • Triodia
  • understory vegetation
  • Victoria
  • vulnerable species or communities
  • Wales
  • wildfires
  • wildlife refuges
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 24, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 37871
Tall Timbers Record Number: 12392
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


A probabilistic model is offered for tracing the fate of vegetation communities in fire-prone lands that are subjected to regular fuel reduction burning. The model is based on the semi-Markov process (an extension of Markov chain modelling). The inputs necessary for the semi-Markov process are shown to be readily available, familiar -to managers, or at worst, cheap and easy to procure. By manipulation of the probabilities associated with the occurrence of low intensity prescribed fires (i.e. simulating different fire free periods), managers will be able to use readily available data to predict the long term effects of prescribed fire regimes in relation to management goals, especially where maintenance and protection of rare and endangered vegetation communities are major considerations. The model can be used to determine mean times to episodic local extinctions of vegetation types, mean return times for naturally occurring fires, equilibrium proportions of vegetation types within a system at chosen planning horizons, and, by ascribing monetary (or other) values to activities associated with fuel reduction burning and fighting wildfires, to optimize the cost of entertaining the potentially conflicting goals of hazard reduction and conservation. A case study from northeast Victoria is given to illustrate the construction of the components of the model for the fate of the understorey in open-forest which is currently burnt on a regular rotation by the managing authority. A further case study from the malice of central New South Wales is presented as a worked example of how the semi-Markov process could be used in decision support systems aimed at achieving conservation goals.

Lord, B. 1997. Long term effects of repeated burning on understory containing rare vegetation communities, in Greenlee, J. M., Proceedings: First Conference on Fire Effects on Rare and Endangered Species and Habitats. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. International Association of Wildland Fire,Fairfield, WA. p. 179-190,