Document


Title

The global distribution of ecosystems in a world without fire
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): W. J. Bond; F. I. Woodward; G. F. Midgley
Publication Year: 2005

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • aboveground net woody biomass
  • Africa
  • agriculture
  • Australia
  • biogeography
  • biomass
  • Brazil
  • carbon
  • carbon dioxide
  • climate-vegetation relationships
  • coniferous forests
  • cover
  • deciduous forests
  • deserts
  • distribution
  • dominance (ecology)
  • dynamic global vegetation models
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • evergreens
  • evolution
  • fire dependent species
  • fire exclusion
  • fire frequency
  • fire regimes
  • FIRE-CONTROLLED vs CLIMATE-CONTROLLED GLOBAL BIOME
  • forest management
  • Ghana
  • GLOBAL BIOME SIMULATIONS
  • global biomes
  • grasses
  • grasslands
  • habitat types
  • Kruger National Park
  • land use
  • LONG-TERM FIRE-EXCLUSION STUDIES IN SAVANNAS
  • mineral soils
  • nitrogen
  • ORIGIN OF FIRE-DEPENDENT BIOMES
  • plant biogeography
  • REGIONAL BIOME
  • savannas
  • SCGVM(Sheffield Dynamic Global Vegetation Model)
  • shrublands
  • shrubs
  • South Africa
  • South America
  • species diversity (plants)
  • tundra
  • vegetation surveys
  • Venezuela
  • WOODED GRASSLANDS
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
Region(s):
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 44061
Tall Timbers Record Number: 19361
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, 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.

Description

From the Summary (p.525) ... '• This paper is the first global study of the extent to which fire determines global vegetation patterns by preventing ecosystems from achieving the potential height, biomass and dominant functional types expected under the ambient climate (climate potential). • To determine climate potential, we simulated vegetation without fire using a dynamic global-vegetation model. Model results were tested against fire excusion studies from different parts of the world. Simulated dominant growth forms and tree cover were compared with satellite-derived land- and tree-cover maps. • Simulations were generally consistent with results of fire exclusion studies in southern Africa and elsewhere. Comparison of global 'fire off* simulations with landcover and treecover maps show that vast areas of humid C4 grasslands and savannas, especially in South America and Africa, have the climate potential to form forests. These are the most frequently burnt ecosystems in the world. Without fire, closed forests would double from 27% to 56% of vegetated grid cells, mostly at the expense of C4 plants but also of C3 shrubs and grasses in cooler climates. • C4 grasses began spreading 6-8 Ma, long before human influence on fire regimes. Our results suggest that fire was a major factor in their spread into forested regions, splitting biotas into fire tolerant and intolerant taxa.' © New Phytologist (2005).

Online Link(s):
Citation:
Bond, W. J., F. I. Woodward, and G. F. Midgley. 2005. The global distribution of ecosystems in a world without fire. New Phytologist, v. 165, p. 525-538. 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2004.01252.x.