Joseph B Fontaine

Joseph B Fontaine
Murdoch University · Environmental and Conservation Sciences

PhD Wildlife Science, MS Zoology, AB Chemistry

About

100
Publications
36,642
Reads
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4,046
Citations
Citations since 2016
53 Research Items
3084 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
Introduction
My research focuses on the ecological consequences of disturbance with a focus on fire effects on both plants and animals. I also work in urban and restoration ecology. My greatest enjoyment is in doing research with both applied and basic impact.
Additional affiliations
July 2010 - March 2020
Murdoch University
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (100)
Article
Full-text available
Removal of fire-killed trees (i.e. post-fire or salvage logging) is often conducted in part to reduce woody fuel loads and mitigate potential reburn effects. Studies of post-salvage fuel dynamics have primarily used chronosequence or modelling approaches, with associated limitations; longitudinal studies tracking fuels over time have been rare. We...
Article
Full-text available
Projected effects of climate change across many ecosystems globally include more frequent disturbance by fire and reduced plant growth due to warmer (and especially drier) conditions. Such changes affect species - particularly fire-intolerant woody plants - by simultaneously reducing recruitment, growth, and survival. Collectively, these mechanisms...
Article
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Forest die-offs associated with drought and heat have recently occurred across the globe, raising concern that associated changes in fuels and microclimate could link initial die-off disturbance to subsequent fire disturbance. Despite widespread concern, little empirical data exist. Following forest die-off in the Northern Jarrah Forest, south-West...
Article
Full-text available
A key uncertainty concerning the effect of wildfire on carbon dynamics is the rate at which fire-killed biomass (e.g., dead trees) decays and emits carbon to the atmosphere. We used a ground-based approach to compute decomposition of forest biomass killed, but not combusted, in the Biscuit Fire of 2002, an exceptionally large wildfire that burned o...
Article
The frequency and intensity of forest disturbances such as drought and fire are increasing globally, with an increased likelihood of multiple disturbance events occurring in short succession. Disturbances layered over one another may influence the likelihood or intensity of subsequent events (a linked disturbance) or impact response and recovery tr...
Article
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Background Climate change is eroding forest resilience to disturbance directly through warming climate and indirectly through increasing disturbance activity. Forests characterized by stand-replacing fire regimes and dominated by serotinous species are at risk when the inter-fire period is insufficient for canopy seed bank development and climate c...
Article
Full-text available
The resilience of serotinous obligate-seeding plants to fire may be compromised if increasing fire frequency curtails time available for canopy seed bank accumulation (i.e., immaturity risk), but how various drivers affect seed availability at the time of fire is poorly understood. Using field data from California closed-cone pine (Pinus attenuata...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change projections predict that Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs) are becoming hotter and drier and that fires will become more frequent and severe. While most plant species in these important biodiversity hotspots are adapted to hot, dry summers and recurrent fire, the Interval Squeeze framework suggests that reduced seed production (de...
Article
Postfire resprouting (R+) and recruitment from seed (S+) are common resilience traits in Australian ecosystems. We classified 2696 woody Australian taxa as R+ or not (R−) and as S+ or not (S−). The proportions of these traits in Australian ecosystems were examined in relation to fire regimes and other ecological correlates, and by trait mapping on...
Article
Increasing extreme wildfire occurrence globally is boosting demand to understand the fuel dynamics and fire risk of fire-prone areas. This is particularly pressing in fire-prone, Mediterranean climate-type vegetation, such as the Banksia woodlands surrounding metropolitan Perth, southwestern Australia. Despite an extensive wildland-urban interface...
Preprint
Full-text available
The resilience of serotinous obligate-seeding plants to fire may be compromised if increasing fire frequency curtails time available for canopy seed bank accumulation (i.e., immaturity risk), but how various drivers affect seed availability at the time of fire is poorly understood. Using field data from California closed-cone pine (Pinus attenuata...
Article
Unseasonal fire occurrence is increasing globally, driven by climate change and other human activity. Changed timing of fire can inhibit post‐fire seedling recruitment through interactions with plant phenology (the timing of key processes, e.g., flower initiation, seed production, dispersal, germination), and therefore threaten the persistence of m...
Chapter
We outline the multiple, cross-scale, and complex consequences of terrestrial and marine ecosystem heatwaves in two regions on opposite sides of the planet: the southwestern USA and southwestern Australia, both encompassing Global Biodiversity Hotspots, and where ecosystem collapses or features of it have occurred in the past two decades. We highli...
Article
Full-text available
With climate change, heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent, intense, and broader in spatial extent. However, while lethal effects of heat waves on humans are well documented, the impacts on flora are less well understood, perhaps except for crops. We summarize recent findings related to heat wave impacts including: sub‐lethal and lethal eff...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological resilience is widely acknowledged as a vital attribute of successful ecosystem restoration, with potential for restoration practice to contribute to this goal. Hence, defining common metrics of resilience to naturally occurring disturbances is essential for restoration planning, efforts, and monitoring. Here, we reviewed how plant commun...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid expansion of urban areas worldwide is leading to native habitat loss and ecosystem fragmentation and degradation. Although the study of urbanisation’s impact on biodiversity is gaining increasing interest globally, there is still a disconnect between research recommendations and urbanisation strategies. Expansion of the Perth metropolitan...
Article
The rapid expansion of urban areas worldwide is leading to native habitat loss and ecosystem fragmentation and degradation. Although the study of urbanisation's impact on biodiversity is gaining increasing interest globally, there is still a disconnect between research recommendations and urbanisation strategies. Expansion of the Perth metropolitan...
Article
We recently published a framework of demographic mechanisms that may impact plant population responses to changes in fire seasonality [1]. This framework now includes eight mechanisms identified in [1,2] and further detailed in [3,4]. Subsequently, Cao et al. [5] have proposed that seed dormancy class, based on the dormancy classification scheme of...
Article
Questions Globally, ecological restoration is required to restore degraded landscapes and to contribute to biodiversity conservation. Ecological theory suggests that manipulating dispersal, abiotic and biotic filters limiting plant re‐establishment will improve restoration outcomes. Here, we manipulated spread depth of soil containing a salvaged so...
Article
Full-text available
Forests are increasingly affected by natural disturbances. Subsequent salvage logging, a widespread management practice conducted predominantly to recover economic capital, produces further disturbance and impacts biodiversity worldwide. Hence, naturally disturbed forests are among the most threatened habitats in the world, with consequences for th...
Article
Full-text available
Forests are increasingly affected by natural disturbances. Subsequent salvage logging, a widespread management practice conducted predominantly to recover economic capital, produces further disturbance and impacts biodiversity worldwide. Hence, naturally disturbed forests are among the most threatened habitats in the world, with consequences for th...
Article
Full-text available
1) Ongoing changes in fire regimes have the potential to drive widespread shifts in Earth’s vegetation. Plant traits and vital rates provide insight into vulnerability to fire-driven vegetation shifts because they can be indicators of the ability of individuals to survive fire (resistance) and populations to persist (resilience) following fire. 2)...
Article
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Many plant species in fire‐prone environments maintain persistence through fire via soil seedbanks. However, seeds stored within the soil are at risk of mortality from elevated soil temperatures during fire. Seeds may be protected from fire‐temperature impacts by burial, however, those buried too deeply may germinate but fail to emerge. Thus, succe...
Article
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Plant species conservation relies on their reproductive success and likelihood of population persistence. Knowledge of plant mating systems, particularly the relationship between plants and their pollinators, is fundamental to inform conservation efforts. This knowledge could be critical for prioritising efforts in human-dominated fragmented landsc...
Article
Full-text available
Variations in global patterns of burning and fire regimes are relatively well measured, however, the degree of influence of the complex suite of biophysical and human drivers of fire remains controversial and incompletely understood. Such an understanding is required in order to support current fire management and to predict the future trajectory o...
Article
Full-text available
Salvage logging following natural disturbances may alter the natural successional trajectories of biological communities by affecting the occurrences of species, functional groups and evolutionary lineages. However, few studies have examined whether dissimilarities between bird communities of salvaged and unsalvaged forests are more pronounced for...
Article
Worldwide, extreme climatic events such as drought and heatwaves are associated with forest mortality. However, the precise drivers of tree mortality at individual and stand levels vary considerably, with substantial gaps in knowledge across studies in biomes and continents. In 2010–2011, a drought‐associated heatwave occurred in south‐western Aust...
Article
Altered fire regimes resulting from climate change and human activity threaten many terrestrial ecosystems. However, we lack a holistic and detailed understanding of the effects of altering one key fire regime component – season of fire. Altered fire seasonality can strongly affect post-fire recovery of plant populations through interactions with p...
Presentation
Amblyomma triguttatum triguttatum (Koch 1844), known as the ornate kangaroo tick, is one of the most common ticks encountered in Western Australia. This widespread tick has been implicated in the epidemiology of Q Fever (Coxiella burnetii) and possibly spotted fever (Rickettsia gravesii), however little is known about the ecology of A. t. triguttat...
Article
Full-text available
Prolonged drought and intense heat‐related events trigger sudden forest die‐off events and have now been reported from all forested continents. Such die‐offs are concerning given that drought and heatwave events are forecast to increase in severity and duration as climate change progresses. Quantifying consequences to carbon dynamics and storage fr...
Article
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ContextFeral pigs (Sus scrofa) are an increasing threat to agriculture and ecological communities globally. Although ground rooting is their most readily observable sign, feral pigs typically remain highly cryptic and their abundance and impacts are difficult to quantify. AimsThe aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of current feral...
Article
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1 Fire has long shaped biological responses of plants and plant communities in many ecosystems; yet, uncontrolled wildfire frequently puts people and infrastructure at risk. Fuel or hazard‐reduction burning outside of the historic fire season is a common and widespread practice aimed at reducing the risk of high‐severity fires, which ideally also c...
Article
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Globally, forest die-off from global-change-type drought events (hotter droughts) are of increasing concern, with effects reported from every forested continent. While implications of global-change-type drought events have been explored for above-ground vegetation, below-ground organisms have received less attention, despite their essential contrib...
Article
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Urban environments are increasingly important for biodiversity conservation, but pet cats threaten wildlife therein, displaying nuisance behaviour such as hunting, fighting, fouling and urine spraying. In an attempt to empower landholders wishing to reduce cat incursions humanely, we tested the effectiveness of two ultrasonic cat deterrents (CatSto...
Article
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Heat waves have profoundly impacted biota globally over the past decade, especially where their ecological impacts are rapid, diverse, and broad-scale. Although usually considered in isolation for either terrestrial or marine ecosystems, heat waves can straddle ecosystems of both types at subcontinental scales, potentially impacting larger areas an...
Article
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Although novel ecosystems are increasing globally, their utility for biodiversity conservation is poorly understood. Native fauna are predicted to use novel ecosystems when those ecosystems provide structure and resources similar to the native habitat. We modified existing terminology on wildlife functional groups to develop a conceptual model that...
Article
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Logging to "salvage" economic returns from forests affected by natural disturbances has become increasingly prevalent globally. Despite potential negative effects on biodiversity, salvage logging is often conducted, even in areas otherwise excluded from logging and reserved for nature conservation, inter alia because strategic priorities for post-d...
Article
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Agricultural pursuits in post-mining environments are becoming increasingly important globally as many regions are challenged with food insecurity and post-mining land-use legacies. Although there are many advantages for agricultural production at post-mining sites, these substrates have abiotic and biotic challenges for plant growth, including poo...
Article
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Many healthy adult cats are euthanised annually in shelters, and novel approaches are required to reduce euthanasia rates. Waiving adoption fees is one such approach. However, concerns that less responsible owners will be attracted to free events persist among welfare groups. We evaluated evidence for differences in cat fate, health, and adherence...
Article
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Addressing plant-soil relationships within restoration science may improve success and reduce costs. Here we assess the question of topsoil storage time: how does stockpile age impact plant biomass and soil microbial activity, particularly root symbionts such as rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)? Working in Western Australia and in sa...
Research
Full-text available
An outreach bulletin on the impacts of drought-induced forest die-off on fuels and fire potentials
Article
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Species integrity relies on the maintenance of reproductive isolation, particularly between closely related species. Further, it has been hypothesized that the presence of heterospecific pollen on flower stigmas adversely affects plant reproduction with increasing effect in closely related species. Using two pairs of co-occurring buzz-pollinated Th...
Article
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Dynamics of dead wood, a key component of forest structure, are not well described for mixed-severity fire regimes with widely varying fire intervals. A prominent form of such variation is when two stand-replacing fires occur in rapid succession, commonly termed an early-seral "reburn." These events are thought to strongly Influence dead wood abund...
Article
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Climate change-type drought (the combination of drought and heatwave) has become a widely documented driver of forest dieback yet, to date, limited measurement of post-event forest dynamics has been reported. Can climate change-type drought trigger structural and/or compositional changes in a forest type which is usually highly resilient to other d...
Article
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Roaming pet cats kill and harass wildlife, hybridise with wild felids, interbreed with feral populations, spread disease or annoy neighbours, and endanger their own welfare by fighting, being struck by vehicles or ingesting poisons. Confinement of pet cats is unpopular, so alternative methods to curb roaming behaviour would benefit wildlife conserv...
Article
Full-text available
Frequency and intensity of disturbance is projected to increase for many ecosystems globally, with uncertain consequences, particularly when disturbances occur in rapid succession. We quantified community response (52 shrub species and the tree Eucalyptus todtiana) to a severe hailstorm followed 2 months later by prescribed fire for a Mediter-ranea...
Article
Full-text available
Postfire resprouting and recruitment from seed are key plant life-history traits that influence population dynamics, community composition and ecosystem function. Species can have one or both of these mechanisms. They confer resilience, which may determine community composition through differential species persistence after fire. To predict ecosyst...
Article
Full-text available
There is an increasing interest in eucalypt reforestation for a range of purposes in Australia, including pulp-wood production, carbon mitigation and catchment water management. The impacts of this reforestation on soil water repellency have not been examined despite eucalypts often being associated with water repellency and water repellency having...