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

Declining pollination success reinforces negative climate and fire change impacts in a serotinous, fire-killed plant

Souto-Veiga, R., Groeneveld, J., Enright, N.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-2979-4505, Fontaine, J.B.ORCID: 0000-0002-6515-7864 and Jeltsch, F. (2022) Declining pollination success reinforces negative climate and fire change impacts in a serotinous, fire-killed plant. Plant Ecology .

Free to read:
*No subscription required


Climate change projections predict that Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs) are becoming hotter and drier and that fires will become more frequent and severe. While most plant species in these important biodiversity hotspots are adapted to hot, dry summers and recurrent fire, the Interval Squeeze framework suggests that reduced seed production (demographic shift), reduced seedling establishment after fire (post fire recruitment shift), and reduction in the time between successive fires (fire interval shift) will threaten fire killed species under climate change. One additional potential driver of accelerated species decline, however, has not been considered so far: the decrease in pollination success observed in many ecosystems worldwide has the potential to further reduce seed accumulation and thus population persistence also in these already threatened systems. Using the well-studied fire-killed and serotinous shrub species Banksia hookeriana as an example, we apply a new spatially implicit population simulation model to explore population dynamics under past (1988–2002) and current (2003–2017) climate conditions, deterministic and stochastic fire regimes, and alternative scenarios of pollination decline. Overall, model results suggest that while B. hookeriana populations were stable under past climate conditions, they will not continue to persist under current (and prospective future) climate. Negative effects of climatic changes and more frequent fires are reinforced by the measured decline in seed set leading to further reduction in the mean persistence time by 12–17%. These findings clearly indicate that declining pollination rates can be a critical factor that increases further the pressure on the persistence of fire-killed plants. Future research needs to investigate whether other fire-killed species are similarly threatened, and if local population extinction may be compensated by recolonization events, facilitating persistence in spatially structured meta-communities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors.
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year