Fire Management for Fruit Productivity
Fire has shaped Australian ecology from Tasmania to the Top End and is an integral factor driving fruit productivity. In East Arnhem Land it has been managed by the Yolngu people long before the changes brought by European settlement in the first part of last centaury and has remained central to cultural practice to this day. Recently the advent of fire management for carbon farming has informed some management practices while the study of fruit productivity carried out by Cultivate NT and Charles Darwin University has highlighted the need for a nuanced understanding of the role of fire in the landscape.
The intensity, timing and frequency of fire have significant effects on plant population densities, demographics and fruit productivity. Optimum fire regimes are different not only for the savanna and rainforest populations being managed but also for different species within these systems. Different fire regimes are also required for seedling establishment, recruitment into adult population, accumulation of biomass and fruit production.
A fire management strategy and plan has been devised by Cultivate NT and Rurranagala Bush Produce to increase fruit productivity of targeted species and land systems around Rurrangala.