Drivers, ecology and management of fire in fynbos
van Wilgen, B.W.
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Fire is a fundamental driving force in fynbos dynamics, being both inevitable and necessary in fynbos ecosystems (Kruger and Bigalke 1984). Fire has also played a key role in stimulating the evolutionary diversification of the Cape flora (Cowling 1987; Keeley et al. 2012), with contemporary fire regimes probably dating back to the Middle Miocene climatic optimum (c.15 Ma; Bytebier et al. 2011). In modern fynbos, fire is the dominant natural disturbance, and managing fynbos equates to managing fire. This chapter outlines the determinants of fire and fire regimes in the Cape Floristic Region (CFR), the biotic responses and adaptations it elicits, and fire management.