Fires directly impact the carbon balance of forests through emissions of carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other greenhouse gases (GHG) formed during combustion of vegetation and litter. We currently lack all but the most rudimentary knowledge of the direct effects of fuel reduction fires or their secondary effects on ecosystem carbon balances and other attributes of forests and surrounding land uses.
The research proposed aims first to further develop our knowledge of greenhouse gas emissions of fuel reduction fires and their impacts on the carbon balance of forested ecosystems.
Secondly, we will investigate the mechanisms and processes in which GHG emissions can affect the environment in native forests and surrounding agricultural land.
Finally, we aim to use this knowledge to provide guidelines and advice as to how best to manage these fires to minimise their ecological and economic impacts.