How can an invasive grass affect fire behavior in a tropical savanna? A community and individual plant level approach

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Título: How can an invasive grass affect fire behavior in a tropical savanna? A community and individual plant level approach
Autor/es: Gorgone-Barbosa, Elizabeth | Pivello, Vânia R. | Bautista, Susana | Zupo, Talita | Rissi, Mariana Ninno | Fidelis, Alessandra
Grupo/s de investigación o GITE: Gestión de Ecosistemas y de la Biodiversidad (GEB)
Centro, Departamento o Servicio: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ecología | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Multidisciplinar para el Estudio del Medio "Ramón Margalef"
Palabras clave: African grass | Cerrado | Fire behavior | Fire intensity | Fuel load | Urochloa brizantha
Área/s de conocimiento: Ecología
Fecha de publicación: ene-2015
Editor: Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Cita bibliográfica: Biological Invasions. 2015, 17(1): 423-431. doi:10.1007/s10530-014-0740-z
Resumen: Some invasive grasses have been reported to change fire behavior in invaded plant communities. Urochloa brizantha is an aggressive invasive grass in the Brazilian Cerrado, an ecosystem where fire is a common disturbance. We investigated the effects of U. brizantha on fire behavior in an open Cerrado physiognomy in Central Brazil. Using experimental burnings we compared fire behavior at both the community and the individual plant level in invaded (UJ) and non-invaded (NJ) areas burned in July. We also assessed the effect of fire season in invaded areas by comparing July (UJ) and October (UO) burnings. We evaluated the following variables: fuel load, fuel moisture, combustion efficiency, maximum fire temperature, flame height, and fire intensity. Additionally, we evaluated the temperatures reached under invasive and native grass tussocks in both seasons. Fuel load, combustion efficiency, and fire intensity were higher in NJ than in UJ, whilst flame height showed the opposite trend. Fuel amount and fire intensity were higher in October than in July. At the individual plant level, U. brizantha moisture was higher than that of native species, however, temperatures reaching ≥600 °C at ground level were more frequent under U. brizantha tussocks than under native grasses. At the community level, the invasive grass modified fire behavior towards lower intensity, lower burning efficiency, and higher flame height. These results provide essential information for the planning of prescribed burnings in invaded Cerrado areas.
Patrocinador/es: We thank the Fundação Grupo Boticário de Proteção à Natureza (Termo de Parceria No 0106_2011_PR), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES/DGU 227/2010), and the Ministry of Education (PHB2009-0073-PC) and of Science and Innovation (FEEDBACK Project; CGL2011-30515-C02-01) of the Spanish Goverment for financial support.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/53326
ISSN: 1387-3547 (Print) | 1573-1464 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/s10530-014-0740-z
Idioma: eng
Tipo: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Derechos: © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10530-014-0740-z
Revisión científica: si
Versión del editor: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10530-014-0740-z
Aparece en las colecciones:INV - GEB - Artículos de Revistas

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