Title

Environmental assessment of erosion following prescribed burning in the Mount Lofty Ranges, Australia

RIS ID

91820

Publication Details

Morris, R. H., Bradstock, R. A., Dragovich, D., Henderson, M. K., Penman, T. D. & Ostendorf, B. (2014). Environmental assessment of erosion following prescribed burning in the Mount Lofty Ranges, Australia. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 23 (1), 104-116.

Abstract

Erosion following fire has the potential to affect water quality, alter soil profiles and detrimentally affect human infrastructure. There is a clear need for environmental assessments to have regard for erosion concerns from prescribed burning. This study focussed on 10 prescribed burns conducted in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges. Generalised additive modelling was used to determine the main significant environmental variables influencing the presence of sediment movement at 505 field-assessed sites. Sediment movement after the 10 prescribed burns was minor. Fire severity was a highly significant environmental determinant for the presence of sediment movement after prescribed burning. To predict erosion concerns, a suite of environmental variables is more reliable than focusing solely on slope steepness, as occurred before this study. These results indicate that erosion assessments need to consider a range of environmental variables to assess potential erosion and that land managers and scientists need to incorporate spatial sampling designs into erosion assessments.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF13011