Dynamiques des forêts denses humides et des savanes en réponse aux incendies en Nouvelle-Calédonie

Abstract : New Caledonia, which presents both an exceptional and highly endangered biodiversity, is one of the worldwide biodiversity hotspots for conservation priority. Human-induced fires, which are one of the main threats to natural ecosystems in New Caledonia, lead to the expansion of savannas on volcano-sedimentary substrates at the expense of rainforests. In this thesis, the ecological processes, which are involved in the dynamics of rainforests and savannas and related to changes in fire regime, have been studied at different spatial and temporal scales. The analysis of the spatio-temporal distribution of rainforests and savannas across the landscape allowed us to both point-out the different drivers of their dynamics and to identify areas of rainforest recolonization. Different secondary succession patterns and pioneer species assemblages were identified from the analysis of these areas of recolonization. The analysis of measured functional traits and the use of semi-physical models of fire-caused damages highlighted the low tolerance of these pioneer species to fire. Finally, a multivariate analysis of the structure, the floristic composition and the micro-climatic conditions of transitional zones between savanna and rainforest, has allowed us to better understand the processes of rainforest's expansion and contraction. This thesis opens a new field of research in New Caledonia with important implications in rainforest's restoration and sustainable management.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 4:17:40 PM
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Thomas Ibanez. Dynamiques des forêts denses humides et des savanes en réponse aux incendies en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Ecologie, Environnement. Université Aix-Marseille, 2012. Français. ⟨tel-00681865⟩

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