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Lismore
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Unit description

Examines the role of fire in terrestrial ecosystems, with a particular emphasis on the importance of fire in regulating vegetation distribution and structure, and the habitats of plants and animals. The unit also introduces students to the ways in which changing landuse and climate influence fire regimes, and the interaction between fire regimes, climate and carbon cycling through time The management of fire regimes will be examined, including for ecological restoration, hazard reduction and Aboriginal cultural burning, and how improved fire management can improve the resilience of these systems in the face of global change.

Unit content

1. Fire Through Time: pre-human, Aboriginal and European fire

2. Plant and Animal Adaptations: surviving fire and exploiting the post fire environment

3. Open-ecosystems: the role of fire in shaping ecosystem structure & distribution

4. Fire Behaviour: the role of weather, topography and fuel dynamics

5. Fire Management: managing fire regimes for hazard reduction and ecological burning, cultural burning

6. Fire in a Changing World: climate change; carbon cycles and using fire in ecological restoration

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1demonstrate advanced understanding of how fire maintains open ecosystems and critically evaluate likely effects of altered fire regimes on plants, animals and ecosystem function.
2discuss and evaluate the major fire management approaches, including burning for ecological restoration, hazard reduction and Aboriginal cultural burning.
3critically evaluate the sensitivity of fire regimes to changing landuse and climate, and the interaction between fire regimes, climate and carbon cycling through time
4research, evaluate and synthesise information to describe a fire management or fire ecology issue into written form for appropriate audiences.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate advanced understanding of how fire maintains open ecosystems and critically evaluate likely effects of altered fire regimes on plants, animals and ecosystem function.
  2. discuss and evaluate the major fire management approaches, including burning for ecological restoration, hazard reduction and Aboriginal cultural burning.
  3. critically evaluate the sensitivity of fire regimes to changing landuse and climate, and the interaction between fire regimes, climate and carbon cycling through time
  4. research, evaluate and synthesise information to describe a fire management or fire ecology issue into written form for appropriate audiences.

Prescribed texts

  • William J. Bond, 2019, Open Ecosystems: ecology and evolution beyond the forest edge, First Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom. ISBN: 9780198812456.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching method
Tutorial on-site 1 hour (6 weeks (as required))
Residential session 3 days  (once in mid session )
Lecture on-site 2 hours (11 weeks)
Assessment
Exam: open book45%
Report40%
Quiz15%

Teaching method
Tutorial online 1 hour (6 weeks (as required))
Residential session 3 days
Structured online learning 2 hours (11 weeks )
Assessment
Exam: open book45%
Report40%
Quiz15%
Notice

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information

Domestic

Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.

Fee paying courses
For postgraduate or undergraduate full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees

International

Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.

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