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Fire Regime Has a Greater Impact Than Selective Timber Harvesting on Vegetation in a Sub-Tropical Australian Eucalypt Forest

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Lewis, T., Menzies, T. and Pachas, A. N. (2021) Fire Regime Has a Greater Impact Than Selective Timber Harvesting on Vegetation in a Sub-Tropical Australian Eucalypt Forest. Forests, 12 (11). p. 1478. ISSN 1999-4907

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111478

Publisher URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/12/11/1478

Abstract

We compared selectively harvested and unharvested areas located among treatments of annual burning since 1952, triennial burning since 1973 and an area that had received no prescribed burning, but with a single wildfire in 2006 (one fire in 72 years), in a dry sclerophyll eucalypt forest, south-eastern Queensland, Australia. Historic fire regime, rather than low-intensity, selective timber harvesting (17% to 37% live tree basal area removed) had a greater impact on a range of vegetation and soil attributes. Plant taxa composition was influenced more by historic fire regime than recent harvesting; of the 25.5% of the variation in taxa composition explained, fire treatments alone accounted for 96.4% of the explained variation and harvesting alone accounted for just 4.8%. Selective harvesting of timber had a predictable influence associated with removal of tree cover and physical impacts associated with extraction of logs. In harvested areas there were increases (p < 0.05) in bare-ground cover and in coarse woody debris volumes and decreases in understorey vegetation height, particularly where woody understorey was present. However, overall, the combined effects of timber harvesting and fire regime were relatively minor. These sub-tropical dry eucalypt forests appear to be resilient to the impacts of combined, but low-intensity disturbances. View Full-Text

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information:Open access
Keywords:fire history; vegetation structure; species composition; disturbance; resilience; partial harvesting
Subjects:Forestry > Research. Experimentation
Forestry > Forestry management
Forestry > Conservation and protection
Deposited On:22 Nov 2021 03:13
Last Modified:22 Nov 2021 03:13

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