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Notes: Occurrence of Fire Scars in Relation to the Season and Frequency of Surface Fires in Eucalyptus Forests of the Northern Territory, Australia

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Abstract:

Fire intervals determined by counting annual growth rings between fire scars were compared to the actual fire intervals on experimentally burned plots. The comparison was used to test the efficacy of fire scar analysis for determining historic fire intervals. Trees in two vegetation types dominated by Eucalyptus spp. (high open forest; low open woodland) were burned by three treatments (late annual, early annual, early biennial) for periods of seven (woodland) or eight (forest) years. An average of 20-90 percent of annual rings produced per tree during the study period were scarred. Significantly higher percentages occurred in plots treated with late annual and early biennial burning. However, no association was demonstrated between the expected and observed number of fire scars in a chi-square test. The lack of association was related primarily to differences in fire intensity. Correlations between bark type, bark thickness, or tree diameter and the occurrence of fire scars were not significant. Composite fire intervals (Dieterich 1980) were calculated for each treatment and found to be in agreement with the actual fire frequencies in all treatments except the early annual burn in the low open forest. Forest Sci. 30:970-976.

Keywords: Eucalyptus miniata; Eucalyptus porrecta; Eucalyptus tetradonta; Fire history; composite fire intervals

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: December 1, 1984

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