Fire science

Fire has played an integral part in shaping the ecology of the Australian landscape for millions of years.

A fire regime is characterised by a sequence of fires that occur:

  • at a range of intervals
  • with different intensities
  • various times of year
  • in different fuel types.

Australian plants and animals have evolved and adapted to survive particular fire regimes. While a fire can cause the death of individual plants and animals, fire regimes actively stimulate the regeneration and renewal of the ecosystem. However, if fire regimes occur outside of the sequence to which the plants and animals have adapted, extinction of species can occur.

Informed fire management is essential for effective biodiversity conservation because fire regimes interact with plant and animal survival techniques and play a significant and positive role in sustaining and promoting plant and animal diversity.

Knowledge of the interactions between the elements of biodiversity and fire regimes is incomplete and effective fire management of biodiversity continues to improve.

Since fire regimes interact with plant and animal survival techniques and play a significant and positive role in sustaining and promoting plant and animal diversity, then informed fire management is essential for effective biodiversity conservation within South Australia’s protected areas. Knowledge of the interactions between the elements of biodiversity and fire regimes is incomplete. The techniques to enable the ecologically appropriate fire regimes for effective fire management of biodiversity continues to improve.

Download The effects of fire on the environment brochure.

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