Short-term responses of reptile assemblages to fire in native and weedy tropical savannah

  • Published source details Abom R. & Schwarzkopf L. (2016) Short-term responses of reptile assemblages to fire in native and weedy tropical savannah. Global Ecology and Conservation, 6, 58-66.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning: Grassland & shrubland

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning: Grassland & shrubland

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2008–2010 in savanna and open woodland in north Queensland, Australia (Abom & Schwarzkopf 2016) found that while overall reptile abundance reduced immediately after prescribed burns compared to pre-burn in three different grass types, there was no difference in reptile abundance compared to pre- or post-burn once sites had revegetated. Reptile abundance was lower immediately post-burn compared to pre-burn (average abundance post-burn: 1.2–3.6; pre-burn: 3.2–5.2 reptiles/grass type), but there was no difference in abundance levels after plots had revegetated compared to pre-burn or immediately post-burn (average abundance up to 15 months post burn: 2.1–4.1 reptiles/grass type). Reptile species composition differed between pre-burn and post-burn in all three grass types (data reported as statistical model results). Reptile species composition also differed between pre-burn and revegetated plots for one native grass type (kangaroo grass Themeda triandra), but not for the other two. Eight plots for each of three different grass types (kangaroo grass, black spear grass Heteropogon contortus, and non-native grader grass Themeda quadrivalvis) were monitored in 2008–2010 (24 plots in total). Monitoring was undertaken pre-burn (>2 years before last burn), immediately post-burn and following revegetation (up to 15 months post-burn) using drift fences with pitfall and funnel traps.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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