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Title (Primary) Synergistic effects of long-term herbivory and previous fire on fine-scale heterogeneity of prescribed grassland burns
Author Werner, C.M.; Kimuyu, D.; Veblen, K.E.; Sensenig, R.L.; LaMalfa, E.; Young, T.P.;
Journal Ecology
Year 2020
Department iDiv; PHYDIV;
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T12;
Supplements https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/action/downloadSupplement?doi=10.1002%2Fecy.3270&file=ecy3270-sup-0001-AppendixS1.pdf
Keywords Acacia drepanolobium; Africa; fire; fuel; grassland; herbivory; Kenya; rangeland; savanna; spatial heterogeneity
Abstract Grassland and savanna ecosystems, important for both livelihoods and biodiversity conservation, are strongly affected by ecosystem drivers such as herbivory, fire, and drought. Interactions among fire, herbivores and vegetation produce complex feedbacks in these ecosystems, but these have rarely been studied in the context of fuel continuity and resultant fire heterogeneity. We carried out 36 controlled burns within replicated experimental plots that had allowed differential access by wild and domestic large herbivores since 1995 in a savanna ecosystem in Kenya. Half of these were reburns of plots burned five years previously. We show here that the fine‐scale spatial heterogeneity of fire was greater in plots a) previously burned, b) accessible to large herbivores, and especially c) these two in combination. An additional embedded experiment demonstrated that even small experimental burn‐free patches can have strong positive effects on tree saplings, which experienced less damage during controlled burns and quicker post‐fire recovery. This work highlights the importance of simultaneously examining the interactions between fire and herbivory on fuel heterogeneity, which can have important impacts on the growth of woody saplings in savanna grasslands.
ID 24022
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=24022
Werner, C.M., Kimuyu, D., Veblen, K.E., Sensenig, R.L., LaMalfa, E., Young, T.P. (2020):
Synergistic effects of long-term herbivory and previous fire on fine-scale heterogeneity of prescribed grassland burns
Ecology , e03270