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The independent effects of heat, smoke and ash on emergence of seedlings from the soil seed bank of a heathy Eucalyptus woodland in Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park, western Victoria

Enright, N.J., Goldblum, D., Ata, P. and Ashton, D.H. (1997) The independent effects of heat, smoke and ash on emergence of seedlings from the soil seed bank of a heathy Eucalyptus woodland in Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park, western Victoria. Austral Ecology, 22 (1). pp. 81-88.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-9993.1997.tb00643...
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Abstract

The independent effects of smoke, ash, and wet and dry heat treatments on seedling emergence from the soil seed bank were tested for soils from fire-prone heathy woodlands in western Victoria. A total of 763 individuals from 56 species were recorded from the surface soil samples (which covered a total area of 1 m<sup>2</sup>). Both species richness and density of seedlings was greater for smoke- and heat-treated samples than for controls and ash-treated samples. However, only the density differences were significant. Mean seed bank dnsities for the smoke and heat treatments ranged from 855 ±70m<sup>-2</sup> to 1080 ± 58 m<sup>-2</sup> and are similar to estimates obtained elsewhere in Australia for heat-treated soils from dry sclerophyll communities. Of the 56 species recorded, 46 occurred in the smoke and heat treatments but only 33 in the control and ash treatments. The sudden increase in surface soil pH, exchangeable cations and extractable phosphorus which was associated with the ash treatment did not act as a trigger for germination in any of the species recorded here. Chemical constituents from smoke do appear to provide a stimulus separate from the effects of heat, but were not identified with any particular taxa.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Inc
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/14639
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