Reviewing fire as a vegetation management technique in highly modified riparian ecosystems

E. Duxbury*, K. Fryirs

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    Rivers in Australia have undergone significant modification since European arrival due to land management practices such as, vegetation clearing and channelization. River recovery in coastal NSW has begun in recent years, facilitated mainly by a significant increase in woody vegetation cover (Fryirs et al., 2018). Although the vegetation driving river recovery has geomorphic benefits, there is concern that its diversity and endemism is low. Cost-effective and large-scale vegetation management options are needed to retain and enhance geomorphic river recovery provided by increased vegetation cover, while improving the biodiversity of riparian zones.

    Ecological and Cultural burning present underutilised vegetation management techniques to enhance river recovery and gain positive biodiversity outcomes. However, ideal burn regimes for managing degraded riparian ecosystems are yet to be understood. Preliminary trials in the lower Hunter region in NSW and tropical northern savannah have showed promising results from low intensity burning for managing target invasive species and improving overall biodiversity (Andersen et al., 2005; Mabbott & Fryirs 2018; Radford et al., 2008). This paper will review the potential of fire as a management tool for improving the ecological condition of riparian vegetation in highly modified river systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th Australian Stream Management Conference, 2-4 August 2021
    EditorsT. Boyd, M. Coker, S. Gregor, A. Miller, A. Morris, K. Russell, I. D. Rutherford, G. J. Vietz, J. Walker, A. Wood
    Place of PublicationMelbourne
    PublisherRiver Basin Management Society
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic)9780646844916
    Publication statusPublished - 2021
    EventAustralian Stream Management Conference (10th : 2021) - Online
    Duration: 2 Aug 20214 Aug 2021
    Conference number: 10th


    ConferenceAustralian Stream Management Conference (10th : 2021)
    Abbreviated title10ASM


    • River recovery
    • fire
    • burning
    • riparian vegetation
    • geomorphology
    • exotic plant species


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