Fire in Australian savannas

From leaf to landscape

Jason Beringer, Lindsay B. Hutley, David Abramson, Stefan K. Arndt, Peter Briggs, Mila Bristow, Josep G. Canadell, Lucas A. Cernusak, Derek Eamus, Andrew C. Edwards, Bradley J. Evans, Benedikt Fest, Klaus Goergen, Samantha P. Grover, Jorg Hacker, Vanessa Haverd, Kasturi Kanniah, Stephen J. Livesley, Amanda Lynch, Stefan Maier & 6 others Caitlin Moore, Michael Raupach, Jeremy Russell-Smith, Simon Scheiter, Nigel J. Tapper, Petteri Uotila

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Savanna ecosystems comprise 22% of the global terrestrial surface and 25% of Australia (almost 1.9 million km2) and provide significant ecosystem services through carbon and water cycles and the maintenance of biodiversity. The current structure, composition and distribution of Australian savannas have coevolved with fire, yet remain driven by the dynamic constraints of their bioclimatic niche. Fire in Australian savannas influences both the biophysical and biogeochemical processes at multiple scales from leaf to landscape. Here, we present the latest emission estimates from Australian savanna biomass burning and their contribution to global greenhouse gas budgets. We then review our understanding of the impacts of fire on ecosystem function and local surface water and heat balances, which in turn influence regional climate. We show how savanna fires are coupled to the global climate through the carbon cycle and fire regimes. We present new research that climate change is likely to alter the structure and function of savannas through shifts in moisture availability and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, in turn altering fire regimes with further feedbacks to climate. We explore opportunities to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from savanna ecosystems through changes in savanna fire management.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-81
    Number of pages20
    JournalGlobal Change Biology
    Volume21
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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    savanna
    Fires
    Ecosystems
    Greenhouse gases
    Carbon
    greenhouse gas
    Biodiversity
    fire management
    heat balance
    ecosystem
    Gas emissions
    Surface waters
    Carbon Dioxide
    Climate change
    biomass burning
    ecosystem function
    carbon cycle
    ecosystem service
    regional climate
    Biomass

    Cite this

    Beringer, J., Hutley, L. B., Abramson, D., Arndt, S. K., Briggs, P., Bristow, M., ... Uotila, P. (2015). Fire in Australian savannas: From leaf to landscape. Global Change Biology, 21(1), 62-81. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12686
    Beringer, Jason ; Hutley, Lindsay B. ; Abramson, David ; Arndt, Stefan K. ; Briggs, Peter ; Bristow, Mila ; Canadell, Josep G. ; Cernusak, Lucas A. ; Eamus, Derek ; Edwards, Andrew C. ; Evans, Bradley J. ; Fest, Benedikt ; Goergen, Klaus ; Grover, Samantha P. ; Hacker, Jorg ; Haverd, Vanessa ; Kanniah, Kasturi ; Livesley, Stephen J. ; Lynch, Amanda ; Maier, Stefan ; Moore, Caitlin ; Raupach, Michael ; Russell-Smith, Jeremy ; Scheiter, Simon ; Tapper, Nigel J. ; Uotila, Petteri. / Fire in Australian savannas : From leaf to landscape. In: Global Change Biology. 2015 ; Vol. 21, No. 1. pp. 62-81.
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    title = "Fire in Australian savannas: From leaf to landscape",
    abstract = "Savanna ecosystems comprise 22{\%} of the global terrestrial surface and 25{\%} of Australia (almost 1.9 million km2) and provide significant ecosystem services through carbon and water cycles and the maintenance of biodiversity. The current structure, composition and distribution of Australian savannas have coevolved with fire, yet remain driven by the dynamic constraints of their bioclimatic niche. Fire in Australian savannas influences both the biophysical and biogeochemical processes at multiple scales from leaf to landscape. Here, we present the latest emission estimates from Australian savanna biomass burning and their contribution to global greenhouse gas budgets. We then review our understanding of the impacts of fire on ecosystem function and local surface water and heat balances, which in turn influence regional climate. We show how savanna fires are coupled to the global climate through the carbon cycle and fire regimes. We present new research that climate change is likely to alter the structure and function of savannas through shifts in moisture availability and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, in turn altering fire regimes with further feedbacks to climate. We explore opportunities to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from savanna ecosystems through changes in savanna fire management.",
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    author = "Jason Beringer and Hutley, {Lindsay B.} and David Abramson and Arndt, {Stefan K.} and Peter Briggs and Mila Bristow and Canadell, {Josep G.} and Cernusak, {Lucas A.} and Derek Eamus and Edwards, {Andrew C.} and Evans, {Bradley J.} and Benedikt Fest and Klaus Goergen and Grover, {Samantha P.} and Jorg Hacker and Vanessa Haverd and Kasturi Kanniah and Livesley, {Stephen J.} and Amanda Lynch and Stefan Maier and Caitlin Moore and Michael Raupach and Jeremy Russell-Smith and Simon Scheiter and Tapper, {Nigel J.} and Petteri Uotila",
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    Beringer, J, Hutley, LB, Abramson, D, Arndt, SK, Briggs, P, Bristow, M, Canadell, JG, Cernusak, LA, Eamus, D, Edwards, AC, Evans, BJ, Fest, B, Goergen, K, Grover, SP, Hacker, J, Haverd, V, Kanniah, K, Livesley, SJ, Lynch, A, Maier, S, Moore, C, Raupach, M, Russell-Smith, J, Scheiter, S, Tapper, NJ & Uotila, P 2015, 'Fire in Australian savannas: From leaf to landscape', Global Change Biology, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 62-81. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12686

    Fire in Australian savannas : From leaf to landscape. / Beringer, Jason; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Abramson, David; Arndt, Stefan K.; Briggs, Peter; Bristow, Mila; Canadell, Josep G.; Cernusak, Lucas A.; Eamus, Derek; Edwards, Andrew C.; Evans, Bradley J.; Fest, Benedikt; Goergen, Klaus; Grover, Samantha P.; Hacker, Jorg; Haverd, Vanessa; Kanniah, Kasturi; Livesley, Stephen J.; Lynch, Amanda; Maier, Stefan; Moore, Caitlin; Raupach, Michael; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Scheiter, Simon; Tapper, Nigel J.; Uotila, Petteri.

    In: Global Change Biology, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2015, p. 62-81.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

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    AU - Canadell, Josep G.

    AU - Cernusak, Lucas A.

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    AU - Evans, Bradley J.

    AU - Fest, Benedikt

    AU - Goergen, Klaus

    AU - Grover, Samantha P.

    AU - Hacker, Jorg

    AU - Haverd, Vanessa

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    AU - Maier, Stefan

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    Beringer J, Hutley LB, Abramson D, Arndt SK, Briggs P, Bristow M et al. Fire in Australian savannas: From leaf to landscape. Global Change Biology. 2015;21(1):62-81. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12686