Assessing the fire tolerance of forest species in New Caledonian savanna: modelling choices do matter


  • Paulo M. Fernandes

    1. Centro de Investigação e de Tecnologias Agro-Ambientais e Tecnológicas (CITAB) & Departamento de Ciências Florestais e Arquitectura Paisagista (CIFAP), Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
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Ibanez et al. (Journal of Vegetation Science, 2013, 24: 177) used fire modelling to examine the differential fire tolerance of secondary forest species in New Caledonia savanna. Misinterpretation of the concept of flame-front residence time and inadequate choices and linkages of fire behaviour and fire effects models affected the estimation of both stem and canopy injury. The most relevant concern is that the depth of fire-induced necrosis in the stem was overemphasized by a factor of two to three, underestimating tree tolerance to fire and overestimating the tree size thresholds for escaping fire.