Next Article in Journal
Do Mixed Fire Regimes Shape Plant Flammability and Post-Fire Recovery Strategies?
Previous Article in Journal
Slash-and-Burn Practices Decrease Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Abundance in Soil and the Roots of Didierea madagascariensis in the Dry Tropical Forest of Madagascar
Article Menu
Issue 3 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Changes in Lightning Fire Incidence in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, 1980–2016

Discipline of Geography and Spatial Sciences, School of Technology, Environments and Design, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [1091 KB, uploaded 19 October 2018]   |  

Abstract

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) has globally significant natural and cultural values, some of which are dependent on the absence of fire or the presence of particular fire regimes. Planned burning is currently used to reduce the risk of loss of world heritage values from unplanned fires, but large and damaging fires still occur, with lightning as the primary ignition source. Lightning-caused fire was rare in the TWWHA before 2000. There has since been an increase in both the number of fires following lightning storms and the area burnt by these fires. In the absence of a direct measurement of lightning strike incidence, we tested whether changes in rainfall, soil dryness and fuel load were responsible for these changes in fire incidence and extent. There were no relationships between these variables and the incidence of fires associated with lightning, but the variability in the Soil Dryness Index and the mean of 25% of driest values did predict both the number and area of fires. Thus, it appears that an increase in the proportion of lightning strikes that occur in dry conditions has increased ignition efficiency. These changes have important implications for the management of the TWWHA’s values, as higher projected fuel loads and drier climates could result in a further increase in the number of fires associated with lightning. View Full-Text
Keywords: lightning; fire; Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area; climate change lightning; fire; Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area; climate change
Figures

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).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Styger, J.; Marsden-Smedley, J.; Kirkpatrick, J. Changes in Lightning Fire Incidence in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, 1980–2016. Fire 2018, 1, 38.

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.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Fire EISSN 2571-6255 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top