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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/1890

Title: Fire history of the savanna ecosystems in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, between 1941 and 1996
Authors: Van Wilgen, BW
Biggs, H
O'Regan, SP
Mare, N
Keywords: National parks
Fires
Ecosystem managements
Spantial distributions
Grasslands
Life history
Issue Date: Apr-2000
Publisher: Bureau Scientific Publications
Citation: Van Wilgen, BW, et al. 2000. Fire history of the savanna ecosystems in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, between 1941 and 1996. South African Journal of Science, vol. 96(4), pp 167-178
Abstract: This paper analyses the fire history of the Kruger National Park (1.9 million ha), South Africa, for different periods in the park's history, where fire protection was followed by prescribed burning and then a 'natural' (lightning) fire policy. Fires covering 16.79 million ha occurred between 1941 and 1996 (16% of the area burning each year on average). Of this area, 5.15 million ha was burnt between 1941 and 1957, when limited prescribed burning and protection from fire took place (16% burning each year on average). Between 1957 and 1991, 2213 prescribed burns covering 5.1 million ha (46.3% of the 10.98 million ha burnt during that period) were carried out. Lightning fires affected 2.5 million ha between 1957 and 1996, or 21.6% of the area. The mean fire return period was 4.5 years, with intervals between fires from 1 to 34 years. The distribution around the mean was not symmetrical and the median fire interval was 3.1 years. Some areas burnt more often than others, and mean fire return periods ranged from 2.7 to 7.1 years in the 11 major land systems of the park. Fires occurred in all months, but 59% of them took place from September to November. Prescribed burns were concentrated late in the dry season (September to November). Lightning fires were later, with 84.7% of the area burning between September and January. The implications of the analysis for the management of the park are discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/1890
http://hdl.handle.net/10204/1890
ISSN: 0038-2353
Appears in Collections:Ecosystems processes & dynamics
General science, engineering & technology

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