CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > International Journal of Wildland Fire   
International Journal of Wildland Fire
  Published on behalf of the International Association of Wildland Fire
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
20-Year Author Index
For Authors
General Information
Notice to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review Article
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with CP
blank image
facebook twitter youtube


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 15(2)

Persistence of obligate-seeding species at the population scale: effects of fire intensity, fire patchiness and long fire-free intervals

Mark K. J. Ooi A B C, Robert J. Whelan A, Tony D. Auld B

A Institute for Conservation Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.
B Biodiversity Conservation Science Section, Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), PO Box 1967, Hurstville, NSW 2220, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: mark.ooi@environment.nsw.gov.au
PDF (178 KB) $25
 Export Citation


Understanding how a species persists under a particular fire regime requires knowledge of the response to fire of individual plants. However, categorising the fire response of a species solely based on known responses of individual plants can be misleading when predicting a population response. In the present study, we sought to determine the fire responses of several Leucopogon species at the population level, including the threatened L. exolasius. We found that, whilst all species studied were obligate seeders, the population responses of species to fire were dependent upon fire intensity and patchiness. Results showed first that low intensity fires were significantly patchier than higher intensity fires. Second, the proportion of plants killed within a population decreased with increased fire patchiness. We also assessed how populations were structured and found that stands were multi-aged at most sites, and did not have a single-aged structure, which is often assumed for obligate seeders. Both spatial complexity within the fire regime leading to adult plant persistence, and inter-fire recruitment, contributed to the multi-aged structure. It is possible that these Leucopogon species are gap recruiters, and may tolerate fire rather than be specifically adapted to it. Inter-fire recruitment may enable L. exolasius populations to persist for a much longer fire-free period than many other species in the region.

Keywords: Epacridaceae; Ericaceae; Leucopogon; rarity; soil seed bank; south-eastern Australia; threatened species.

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2014