But what is the best mix of fire histories delivered across the landscape to maximise biodiversity conservation?? It’s been the sentiment for years that pyrodiverity promotes biodiversity and that an even mix of fire-age-classes was best. And so that’s what management aimed to achieve.
Luke and his friends thought that probably wasn’t best considering we know some fire-age-classes are more important than others for different species. They looked at how species respond to fire, what the optimum allocation of fire-age-classes would be, and how to go about achieving that.
It might come as no surprises that some species had strong preferences for vegetation in a mid-late successional stage. That means the optimal fire history would be a management approach that delivers a higher proportion of those older fire-age-classes. So how do we do that? Maybe just fight the wildfires….
For the actual science science of this story you should definitely read the paper and contact the authors if you have any questions.
Kelly LT, Bennett AF, Clarke MF & McCarthy MA (2015) Optimal fire histories for biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology 29: 473-481
K!E#9 by Luke S. O’Loughlin