Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Appraising widespread resprouting but variable levels of postfire seeding in Australian ecosystems: The effect of phylogeny, fire regime and productivity

Lawes, M.J., Crisp, M.D., Clarke, P.J., Murphy, B.P., Midgley, J.J., Russell-Smith, J., Nano, C.E.M., Bradstock, R.A., Enright, N.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-2979-4505, Fontaine, J.B.ORCID: 0000-0002-6515-7864, Gosper, C.R. and Woolley, L-A (2022) Appraising widespread resprouting but variable levels of postfire seeding in Australian ecosystems: The effect of phylogeny, fire regime and productivity. Australian Journal of Botany, 70 (2). pp. 114-130.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1071/BT21110
*Subscription may be required

Abstract

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 a phylogeny scaled to time. Resprouting mapped as an ancestral trait. Postfire reseeding recruitment, while ancient, is more taxonomically restricted and has evolved independently several times. Nevertheless, both R+ and S+ are common in most clades, but negatively correlated at the ecosystem level indicating an evolutionary trade-off related to differences in the severity of fire regimes, determined in part by ecosystem productivity. Thus, R+ was associated with persistence in ecosystems characterised by higher productivity and relatively frequent surface fires of moderate to low severity (fire-productivity hypothesis). S+, the fire-stimulated recruitment by seed, occurred in ecosystems characterised by infrequent but intense crown-fire and topkill, reducing competition between postfire survivors and recruits (fire-resource-competition hypothesis). Consistently large proportions of R+ or S+ imply fire has been a pervasive evolutionary selection pressure resulting in highly fire-adapted and fire-resilient flora in most Australian ecosystems.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)).
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/64105
Item Control Page Item Control Page