Australian Fire Regimes: Contemporary Patterns (April 1998 - March 2000) and Changes Since European Settlement

Australia: State of the Environment Second Technical Paper Series (Biodiversity), Series 2
J Russell-Smith, R Craig, AM Gill, R Smith & J Williams
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2002
ISBN 0 642 54801 3

Fire Regimes and their Impacts in the Mulga (Acacia aneura) Landscapes of Central Australia

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Executive Summary

This case study was commissioned as part of a State of the Environment (SoE) project titled "Assessing fire pattern and their impacts for National State of the Environment reporting". The major component of this project was the use of NOAA satellite imagery to record fire hot spots and fire affected areas across Australia for the period of March 1998 - March 2000 (Craig et al. 2002). To support this national level assessment of fire patterns, three case studies were undertaken to elucidate changes in fire regimes and their impacts over a longer period of time. The first of these was in the savannas of northern Australia, the second in the forests of south-western Australia and the third in mulga (Acacia aneura) landscapes of central Australia, which is the focus of this report. In the first two regions, studies validating the use of NOAA imagery were also undertaken.

Throughout this paper 'Mulga' is used as a common name for Acacia aneura while 'mulga' is used to describe plant communities dominated by Mulga. The following summary is broken into four sections that addresses the major issues associated with fire regimes and their impacts on mulga in central Australia.

Author

Dr Jann Williams
Department of Geospatial Science
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University

Citation

Williams, J. (2002) Fire Regimes and their Impacts in the Mulga (Acacia aneura) Landscapes of Central Australia. In Australian Fire Regimes: Contemporary Patterns (April 1998 - March 2000) and Changes Since European Settlement, Russell-Smith, J., Craig, R., Gill, A.M., Smith, R. and Williams, J. 2002. Australia State of the Environment Second Technical Paper Series (Biodiversity), Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra. http://www.ea.gov.au/soe/techpapers/index.html