Fire in South African Mountain Fynbos: Ecosystem, Community by B. W. van Wilgen, D. J. McDonald (auth.), Dr. Brian W. van

By B. W. van Wilgen, D. J. McDonald (auth.), Dr. Brian W. van Wilgen, Dr. David M. Richardson, Dr. Frederick J. Kruger, Dr. Hubertus J. van Hensbergen (eds.)

Ecologists are more and more being drawn into the duty of addressing difficulties of environmental degradation. they're anticipated to discover options that might result in sustainable source use during the international. In doing so, the robustness of the technology turns into more and more very important, and the matter of extrapolating the result of learn carried out inside of what's frequently a comparatively restricted geographical scope is more and more highlighted. One method of constructing a globally strong ecology comprises roughly formal intercontinental comparative experiences, often excited by the query of ecological convergence. those reports are directed at checking out the prediction that related actual and different environmental elements in numerous elements of the realm, via their selective affects, will provide upward thrust to ecosystems which proportion com­ mon structural and useful positive factors. may still this be precise, the predictive energy of ecology constructed inside any such framework will be adequate to resolve comparable difficulties somewhere else in such biomes. there's a lengthy heritage of such an technique in mediterranean­ sort ecosystems, documented in a sequence of volumes and their accompanying clinical papers starting with that of Di Castri and Mooney (1973).

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Extra info for Fire in South African Mountain Fynbos: Ecosystem, Community and Species Response at Swartboskloof

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11) These communities are found on permanently waterlogged, wet, phreatic sites or seepage zones. Some representative communities of this type are found in the upper reaches of Swartboskloof where there is perennial free water but where forest communities have not developed. In the bottomland situations where they occur, perennial free water overrides the influence of the predominantly sandstone-derived substrate. Young individuals of forest tree species such as Cunonia capensis (Cunoniaceae) have been recorded at these sites but no forest development has occurred.

Map of Swartboskloof showing the advance of the fire front at 3-h intervals on 17 March 1987. The central portion (within the 24:00 line) was burnt on 18 March 1987. Stars (*) indicate positions where the fire was ignited using flares both wind and slope, to ensure control. Once the catchment had been "closed off" the upper reaches were ignited with flares but the burn was nevertheless slow and the central portion of the catchment had still not burnt when a combination of wind, topography, and increasing humidity saw the fire die out after 24:00.

4 Fuel Models Data on the fuel properties of vegetation are essential inputs into fire behaviour prediction models. Descriptions of the fuels of Swartboskloof were designed to meet the requirements for use in formal fire behaviour prediction models (Rothermel 1972; Kessell et al. 1978; Burgan and Rothermel 1984). The Rothermel model was designed to predict fire behaviour in a single continuous stratum of fuel contiguous to the ground. Fire behaviour predictions from the model are based on the physical and chemical makeup of the fuel and the environmental conditions under which it burns.

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