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Are Fires More Important Than Rain For The Savannah Ecosystem ?

ScienceDaily (September 26, 2008)

Are Fires More Important Than Rain For The Savannah Ecosystem ?

ScienceDaily (September 26, 2008)

Natural grass fires are evidently more important for the ecology of savannahs than has previously been assumed. This is the finding of a study carried out in Etosha National Park in the north of Namibia. It is the first study to have investigated the complex interplay of the factors fire, competition, moisture and seed availability in relation to a grass species.

The Etosha National Park in the north of Namibia is the second largest nature reserve in Africa, measuring 20,000 square km.Credit : Julia Zimmermann/UFZ

Periodic fires in semi-arid regions can lead to older tufts of grass disappearing, thereby making room for younger grasses.

The findings are particularly significant for the management of semi-arid nature reserves, in which, in the absence of natural plant eaters, fires are the only practical means of renewing the grass canopy.

Story Source

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

Pour en savoir plus (ScienceDaily)

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