Fire ecology and ecosystem risks

Biodiversity and ecosystems functions can be strongly influenced by different fire regimes: i.e. combinations of the frequency, intensity, season and type of fires. These relationships underpin management objectives for conservation and delivery of ecosystem services such as water and carbon sequestration. Conservation and ecosystem management in relation to fire regimes can be addressed through the concept of risk: e.g. which fire regimes elevate the risk of species loss or detrimental water quality at catchment and landscapes scales?

CERMB research is focussed on these concepts and questions and the way they may be applied to across the diverse ecosystems of both the State and the nation. This research focusses on innovative field studies, modelling and applications of new technology to investigate the dynamic relationships between fire regimes and ecological/ responses.

CERMB research on fire ecology and ecosystem risks also supports, augments and integrates with work undertaken by NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub, WP4.

Current projects include: modelling fire risk to fauna; resprouting dynamics; tree hollows and fire; linking fire severity, erosion and water quality



  • Dr Meaghan Jenkins
  • Dr Owen Price
  • Dr Phil Zylstra
  • Mr Michael Bedward


  • Eli Bendall, PhD candidate: Resprouting into the future: implications for widespread Eucalyptus species under climate change.
  • Nick Wilson, PhD candidate: Effects of logging and fire on carbon and fire dynamics in native Eucalypt forests.
  • Michael Franklin, PhD candidate: Avian responses to fire regimes in montane dry sclerophyll forests of south-eastern Australia.
  • Bridget Roberts, PhD candidate: Forest fire regimes and herpetofauna.
  • Mark Harris, MPhil candidate: Plant population and soil seed bank responses to climatic gradients.

Funding: NSW Environmental Trusts