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Phytornass and fire occurrence along forest-savanna transects in the Comoe National Park, Ivory Coast

  • In tropical West Africa, distribution patterns of forest islands in savannas are influenced by fires which occur regularly in the grass stratum. Along continuous forest-savanna transects in the Comoe National Park, the change in the amount and composition of non-woody phytomass was investigated from savanna to forest interior. This was correlated with the cover of vegetation strata above, soil depth, and the occurrence of seasonal surface fires. Phytomass mainly consisted of leaf litter in the forests (about 400 g m(-2) at the end of the rainy season, and about 600 g m(-2) at the end of the dry season) and of grasses in the savanna (about 900 g m(-2)). Low grass biomass appeared to be primarily the result of suppression by competing woody species and not of shallow soil. The occurrence of early dry-season fires seemed to be determined mainly by the amount of grass biomass as fuel because fires occurred in almost all savanna plots while forest sites remained unaffected. However, late dry-season fires will encounter higher amounts ofIn tropical West Africa, distribution patterns of forest islands in savannas are influenced by fires which occur regularly in the grass stratum. Along continuous forest-savanna transects in the Comoe National Park, the change in the amount and composition of non-woody phytomass was investigated from savanna to forest interior. This was correlated with the cover of vegetation strata above, soil depth, and the occurrence of seasonal surface fires. Phytomass mainly consisted of leaf litter in the forests (about 400 g m(-2) at the end of the rainy season, and about 600 g m(-2) at the end of the dry season) and of grasses in the savanna (about 900 g m(-2)). Low grass biomass appeared to be primarily the result of suppression by competing woody species and not of shallow soil. The occurrence of early dry-season fires seemed to be determined mainly by the amount of grass biomass as fuel because fires occurred in almost all savanna plots while forest sites remained unaffected. However, late dry-season fires will encounter higher amounts of leaf litter raising fire probability in forests. Due to the importance of the amount of combustible phytomass, fire probability and intensity might increase with annual precipitation in both savanna and forestshow moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:K. J. Hennenberg, Franka Fischer, K Kouadio, D Goetze, B Orthmann, KE Linsenmair, Florian JeltschORCiDGND, S Porembski
URL:http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_TRO
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/S026646705003007
ISSN:0266-4674
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2006
Year of Completion:2006
Release Date:2017/03/24
Source:Journal of tropical ecology. - ISSN 0266-4674. - 22 (2006), 3, S. 303 - 311
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Geoökologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Institution name at the time of publication:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie