Animal movements in fire-prone landscapes

Dale G. Nimmo, Sarah Avitabile, Sam C. Banks, Rebecca Bliege Bird, Kate Callister, Michael F. Clarke, Christopher R. Dickman, Tim S. Doherty, Don A. Driscoll, Aaron C Greenville, Angie Haslem, Luke T. Kelly, Sally Kenny, Jose J. Lahoz-Monfort, Connie Lee, Steven W.J. Leonard, Harry Moore, Thomas Newsome, Catherine Parr, Euan RitchieKathryn Schneide, James Turner, Simon Watson, Martin Westbrooke, Mike Wouters, Matthew White, Andrew F. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


Movement is a trait of fundamental importance in ecosystems subject to frequent disturbances, such as fire‐prone ecosystems. Despite this, the role of movement in facilitating responses to fire has received little attention. Herein, we consider how animal movement interacts with fire history to shape species distributions. We consider how fire affects movement between habitat patches of differing fire histories that occur across a range of spatial and temporal scales, from daily foraging bouts to infrequent dispersal events, and annual migrations. We review animal movements in response to the immediate and abrupt impacts of fire, and the longer‐term successional changes that fires set in train. We discuss how the novel threats of altered fire regimes, landscape fragmentation, and invasive species result in suboptimal movements that drive populations downwards. We then outline the types of data needed to study animal movements in relation to fire and novel threats, to hasten the integration of movement ecology and fire ecology. We conclude by outlining a research agenda for the integration of movement ecology and fire ecology by identifying key research questions that emerge from our synthesis of animal movements in fire‐prone ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981-998
Number of pages18
JournalBiological Reviews
Issue number3
Early online date18 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


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