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The Flammability and Energy Content of Some Important Plant Species and Fuel Components in the Forests of Southeastern Tasmania

K. J. M. Dickinson and J. B. Kirkpatrick
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 12, No. 2 (Mar., 1985), pp. 121-134
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2844836
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2844836
Page Count: 14
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The Flammability and Energy Content of Some Important Plant Species and Fuel Components in the Forests of Southeastern Tasmania
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Abstract

Energy content and rate of flame front movement in various plant species and fuel components from the forests of southeastern Tasmania exhibited a range in values, and responses. Eucalypt dry forest species and fuel components showed the highest energy content and the greatest tendency to propagate fire whereas species from wet sclerophyll and gully habitats and Casuarina dry forest communities propagated fire less readily. Species from dry habitats have, in general, low ash contents, high energy levels, high volatile oil contents and low moisture contents. Wet habitat species have high percentages of moisture and ash. General support is given to the hypothesis that natural selection has favoured flammable characteristics in fire-dependent plant communities.

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