This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.
Does season affect fire behavior in Cerrado?
Fire has been playing an important role in plant dynamics and diversity of Cerrado for millions of years. We evaluated fire behavior at different fire seasons in areas of an open savanna, providing information for fire management plans. It has been hypothesized that early fires (May – end of the rainy season) will be less intense than those conducted in the middle and/or end of the dry season (July and October), due to the amount of dead biomass accumulated. Therefore, we compared fire behavior in early-, mid- and late-dry season, evaluating the main fire and environmental variables. Fire intensity was mainly influenced by the combination of dead fuel percentage and fuel load. Even though this combination was the best model to explain fire intensity variability, fire parameters (including fire intensity), did not differ between fire seasons. Flame height was best explained by dead fuel percentage + fuel moisture content, dead fuel percentage + fuel load and also by dead fuel percentage. Our study showed that, in areas with fire exclusion for two year, fire season did not influence fire parameters and fire behavior and the main factors influencing fire intensity the proportion of dead biomass and total fuel load.
WF14210 Accepted 07 March 2017
© CSIRO 2017