Patch Mosaic Burning for Biodiversity Conservation: a Critique of the Pyrodiversity Paradigm

  title={Patch Mosaic Burning for Biodiversity Conservation: a Critique of the Pyrodiversity Paradigm},
  author={Catherine L. Parr and Alan N. Andersen},
  journal={Conservation Biology},
Abstract:  Fire management is increasingly focusing on introducing heterogeneity in burning patterns under the assumption that “pyrodiversity begets biodiversity.” This concept has been formalized as patch mosaic burning (PMB), in which fire is manipulated to create a mosaic of patches representative of a range of fire histories to generate heterogeneity across space and time. Although PMB is an intuitively appealing concept, it has received little critical analysis. Thus we examined ecosystems… 
Local and global pyrogeographic evidence that indigenous fire management creates pyrodiversity
The fieldwork and modeling results imply that the occurrence of long-unburnt habitat in fire-prone ecosystems may be an emergent property of patch scaling under fire regimes dominated by smaller fires, providing a model for understanding how anthropogenic burning alters spatial and temporal aspects of habitat heterogeneity.
No Net Loss of Species Diversity After Prescribed Fires in the Brazilian Savanna
Although savannas are fire-adapted ecosystems, prescribing fire for biodiversity conservation remains controversial at least in some regions where savannas occur. Faced with uncertainty, many
Testing the assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis for termites in semi-arid Australia
This work suggests that encouraging a diversity of fire-ages for enhancing termite species richness in this study region is not necessary, and four key assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis are tested.
Managing fire mosaics for small mammal conservation: a landscape perspective
Summary 1. Fire is a major driver of ecosystem structure and function worldwide. It is also widely used as a management tool to achieve conservation goals. A common objective is the maintenance of
Beds are burning : small mammal responses to fire in tropical savannas of Northern Australia
The management of fire to conserve biodiversity and maintain ecosystem integrity is an ongoing challenge throughout the world. The response of plants and animals to fire is complex due to
Challenging the concept of Aboriginal mosaic fire practices in the Lake Eyre Basin
Mosaic burning is the deliberate creation of a mosaic of patches representing different fire histories. It is often recommended for management of Australia’s natural landscapes, on the assumption
The fire patchiness paradigm: a case study in northwest Queensland
Research into fire ecology has culminated in ‘the patchiness paradigm’. This is the view that numerous small fires, with variety in fire timing, frequency and intensity, will lead to habitat
Fire mosaics and reptile conservation in a fire-prone region.
  • D. Nimmo, L. Kelly, A. Bennett
  • Environmental Science
    Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
  • 2013
Maintaining over the long term a coarse-grained mosaic of large areas of midsuccessional vegetation in mallee ecosystems will need to be balanced against the short-term negative effects of large fires on many reptile species and a documented preference by species from other taxonomic groups, particularly birds, for older vegetation.
Effects of a large wildfire on vegetation structure in a variable fire mosaic.
Test to what extent a large wildfire interacted with previous fire history to affect the structure of forest, woodland, and heath vegetation in Booderee National Park in southeastern Australia found that the strength and persistence of fire effects differed substantially between vegetation types, showing that even after a large, severe wildfire, underlying fire histories can contribute substantially to variation in vegetation structure.


Patch-mosaic burning: a new paradigm for savanna fire management in protected areas?
The shift in ecological thinking, from equilibrium to non-equilibrium processes has been accompanied by a move to encourage heterogeneity rather than homogeneity in landscapes. Spatial and temporal
Fire research for conservation management in tropical savannas: Introducing the Kapalga fire experiment
Fire is a dominant feature of tropical savannas throughout the world, and provides a unique opportunity for habitat management at the landscape scale. We provide the background and methodology for a
Confronting complexity: fire policy choices in South African savanna parks
Changes in ecological concepts and a new focus on biodiversity as a central objective have led to changes in fire policies in South African savanna parks. Prescribed burning using fixed fire
Historic Fire Regime in Southern California Shrublands
Abstract: Historical variability in fire regime is a conservative indicator of ecosystem sustainability, and thus understanding the natural role of fire in chaparral ecosystems is necessary for
Fire management and research in the Kruger National Park, with suggestions on the detection of thresholds of potential concern
This paper reviews the options for management of the savanna ecosystems of the Kruger National Park using fire. The major goals of management have shifted from attempts to use fire to achieve a
Changing perceptions of fire management in savanna parks
Parks are managed to preserve their pristine state. Fire has had a varied role in this, depending on shifting paradigms of savanna functioning. Formerly, an equilibrium theory of functioning
Fire frequency and biodiversity conservation in Australian tropical savannas: implications from the Kapalga fire experiment
Every year large proportions of northern Australia's tropical savanna landscapes are burnt, resulting in high fire frequencies and short intervals between fires. The dominant fire management paradigm
Bird community responses to savanna fires: should managers be concerned?
Despite fire being regarded as an important process for driving and maintaining ecological diversity, its influence on animal communities is poorly understood. This study investigates medium-term
Response of African savanna ants to long‐term fire regimes
Summary 1 Despite the fact that fire is considered an important disturbance in savannas across the world and is used widely as a management tool in conservation areas, little is known about the
Which mosaic? A landscape ecological approach for evaluating interactions between fire regimes, habitat and animals
The link between ‘fire mosaics’ and persistence of animal species is part of a prominent ecological/land management paradigm. This paradigm deals largely with the effects of fire on animals on the