Landscape-scale impacts of Cyclone Larry on the forests of northeast Australia, including comparisons with previous cyclones impacting the region between 1858 and 2006

Turton, Stephen M. (2008) Landscape-scale impacts of Cyclone Larry on the forests of northeast Australia, including comparisons with previous cyclones impacting the region between 1858 and 2006. Austral Ecology, 33 (4). pp. 409-416.

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Abstract

Cyclone Larry (category 4) was the most severe cyclone to impact on the Wet Tropics bioregion since the devastating 1918 Innisfail cyclone. Based on an analysis of earlier cyclones impacting on this region over the period 1856–2006, it was determined that Larry was a '1 in 50 year' event. This paper provides an overview of the landscape-scale impacts of Larry on the forest ecosystems of the Wet Tropics region, based on low-level helicopter surveys 2 weeks after the event. Cyclone Larry has been described as a 'midget' cyclone. Severe forest damage only extended about 30 km from the central track of the cyclone while moderate to severe damage extended some 50 km. Moderate to slight canopy disturbance was rarely identified more than 75 km from the centre of the cyclone's track. Beyond 75 km, forest damage was restricted to exposed areas of elevated terrain and in places exposed to strong lee (gravity) waves from the west. The ecological role of cyclones as important disturbance agents affecting the structure and function of forest ecosystems in the region is discussed, followed by an evaluation of likely effects of climate change on cyclone frequency and intensity.

Item ID: 5840
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: climate change; cyclone; disturbance; frequency; intensity; rainforest
ISSN: 1442-9993
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2009 04:56
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 50%
02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0299 Other Physical Sciences > 029999 Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 24
Downloads: Total: 2
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