SPEAKER: A/Professor Alan York, School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Melbourne
DATE: Friday, 21st October 2016
LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds – CADET building room KE1.207
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Burwood Corporate Centre (BCC); and Warrnambool Campus, Room J2.22
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ABSTRACT: In fire-prone ecosystems, fire, an agent of disturbance, can influence landscape heterogeneity at a range of spatial scales. This heterogeneity varies not only over space, but with time, as successive disturbance events reshape landscape pattern.
The range of post-disturbance states and their spatial configuration is expressed as a landscape ‘mosaic’; the nature of which in both space and time is thought to have a substantial influence on biodiversity. Heterogenous, species-rich landscapes should be more resilient to disturbances such as fire.
Our research program in the Otway Ranges have improved understanding of relationships between biodiversity and landscape heterogeneity, identified strengths and weaknesses of using post-fire growth stages as surrogates for fauna habitat and helped refine our understanding of how other aspects of the fire regime and landscape features influence animal populations.
In this presentation I summarise our research, highlighting what we have learnt, knowledge uptake by fire managers, and where we are currently going to refine current and evolving strategies.
BIO: Alan leads the Fire Ecology and Biodiversity research program within the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences at the University of Melbourne. His research group, based at Creswick, is currently investigating how fire causes patterns in the landscape, and how plants and animals respond to these patterns.
He has been involved in applied fire ecology research for over 30 years; working primarily in universities and State research agencies in NSW and Victoria.
Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Natasha Kaukov.