Climate-fire interactions and Savanna ecosystems : A dynamic vegetation modeling study for the African Continent
- Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
- MERGE - ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
Savannas are inherently “disturbed” ecosystems, but the regularly recurring disruptions play such a fundamental ecological role (Scholes and Archer, 1997) that “episodic events” rather than “disturbance” may the more apt terminology. From an atmospheric perspective, fire is the most significant of these episodic events. Fires shape community species composition; tree to grass ratio and nutrient redistribution; and biosphere-atmosphere exchange of trace gases, aerosols, momentum, and energy. Savannas’ estimated mean NPP of 7.2 ± 2.0 t C ha-1 year-1 amounts to nearly two thirds of tropical forest NPP (Grace et al., 2006); but remarkably little is known about Savanna net carbon balance, especially for the African continent (Williams et al., 2007). In the absence of transient changes in the fire regime, such as could be introduced by climate change or fire-driven changes in land cover, Savanna fires do not affect average annual net carbon uptake much, as the carbon released.
- Physical Geography
- ISBN: 9781439804711
- ISBN: 9781439804704