Venue: Namibia Scientific Society, 110 Robert Mugabe Ave, Windhoek (opposite the National Theatre)

Date: Jan 14, 2015

Contact: or +264 61 225 372


A presentation by Dr. Manfred Finckh.

The tropical dry forests, woodlands and savannahs in south-central Africa are among the most frequently burnt ecosystems in the world. The alarming losses of dry forests in central Angola during the past decade have just recently been highlighted in Science.

It is frequently stated that fire is important for the maintenance and conservation of African savannahs and that woodland ecosystems are adapted to it. However, for large parts of the forest-savannah transition zone the state of vegetation under a natural fire regime - and thus the naturalness of the current land cover types – is unknown.

Most studies dealing with the impact of fire in the dry tropics focus on rangeland management, but very few apply a forest ecologist’s view. Furthermore, there is still a profound lack of analyses about the time and motives behind man-made ignition events and the subsequent fire dynamics. The talk thus aims at disentangling the spatio-temporal fire patterns in order to understand their impact on vegetation and the logics and trade-offs behind wildfires in different parts of the Okavango basin.