Short term effects of fire intensity and fire regime on vegetation dynamic in a tropical humid savanna (Lamto, central Côte d’Ivoire)


We tested the effects of different fire regimes (with different fire date and fuel load) on grass growth, tree debarking and topkill in a Guinea savanna of West Africa. Different fire intensities were simulated on two plots of 3.72 ha each, delimited in two shrubby savanna of the Lamto reserve (C?te d’Ivoire). Two fire regimes were applied, the mid-season fire (January) and the late fire (April). Two fuel levels (single: C1 and double: C2) have been used. For each fire regime, fire intensity was determined. It increases with the fuel quantity (1259 ± 356 kW·m–1 and 3380 ± 1472 kW·m–1 respectively for C1 and C2). The regrowth speed of grasses is also dependent on the fuel quantity (grasses). It increases with it and is higher after the mid-season fire than the late fire. The average intensity of the mid-season fire (2966 ± 2233 kW·m–1) is not significantly different from that of the late fire (1673 ± 1124 kW·m–1). Damages or debarking caused by fire on adult trees were recorded and are linked to fire intensity. Those damages appear to initiate the external cavity observed on trees, known to be detrimental to tree trunk mechanical resistance. They generally affect adult trees of Crossopteryx febrifuga species which is also the most commonly hollowed species. Mid-season fire remains the recommanded fire regime because it insures a faster regrowth of grasses which leads to the maintenance of equilibrium between grasses and trees.

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N’Dri, A. , Gignoux, J. , Dembele, A. and Konate, S. (2012) Short term effects of fire intensity and fire regime on vegetation dynamic in a tropical humid savanna (Lamto, central Côte d’Ivoire). Natural Science, 4, 1056-1064. doi: 10.4236/ns.2012.412134.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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