Next Article in Journal
Toward an Elasticity of Chip-N-Saw: Demand and Supply Models of Chip-N-Saw Stumpage in Louisiana
Next Article in Special Issue
Composition and Structure of Forest Fire Refugia: What Are the Ecosystem Legacies across Burned Landscapes?
Previous Article in Journal
Stock Volume Dependency of Forest Drought Responses in Yunnan, China
Previous Article in Special Issue
Can Land Management Buffer Impacts of Climate Changes and Altered Fire Regimes on Ecosystems of the Southwestern United States?
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Exploring the Future of Fuel Loads in Tasmania, Australia: Shifts in Vegetation in Response to Changing Fire Weather, Productivity, and Fire Frequency

Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC), University of Tasmania, Hobart 7001, Australia
Bureau of Meteorology, Hobart 7001, Australia
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), University of Tasmania, Hobart 7001, Australia
ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science, University of Tasmania, Hobart 7001, Australia
Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart 7001, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Proceedings of The Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (MSSANZ) conference 12 2017, pp. 1097–1103. ISBN: 978-0-9872143-7-9.
Forests 2018, 9(4), 210;
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 7 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildland Fire, Forest Dynamics, and Their Interactions)
PDF [24295 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


Changes to the frequency of fire due to management decisions and climate change have the potential to affect the flammability of vegetation, with long-term effects on the vegetation structure and composition. Frequent fire in some vegetation types can lead to transformational change beyond which the vegetation type is radically altered. Such feedbacks limit our ability to project fuel loads under future climatic conditions or to consider the ecological tradeoffs associated with management burns. We present a “pathway modelling” approach to consider multiple transitional pathways that may occur under different fire frequencies. The model combines spatial layers representing current and future fire danger, biomass, flammability, and sensitivity to fire to assess potential future fire activity. The layers are derived from a dynamically downscaled regional climate model, attributes from a regional vegetation map, and information about fuel characteristics. Fire frequency is demonstrated to be an important factor influencing flammability and availability to burn and therefore an important determinant of future fire activity. Regional shifts in vegetation type occur in response to frequent fire, as the rate of change differs across vegetation type. Fire-sensitive vegetation types move towards drier, more fire-adapted vegetation quickly, as they may be irreversibly impacted by even a single fire, and require very long recovery times. Understanding the interaction between climate change and fire is important to identify appropriate management regimes to sustain fire-sensitive communities and maintain the distribution of broad vegetation types across the landscape. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; prescribed burning; vegetation change; climate adaptation climate change; prescribed burning; vegetation change; climate adaptation

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Harris, R.M.B.; Remenyi, T.; Fox-Hughes, P.; Love, P.; Bindoff, N.L. Exploring the Future of Fuel Loads in Tasmania, Australia: Shifts in Vegetation in Response to Changing Fire Weather, Productivity, and Fire Frequency. Forests 2018, 9, 210.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top