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Success of post-fire plant recovery strategies varies with shifting fire seasonality

Tangney, R., Paroissien, R., Le Breton, T.D., Thomsen, A., Doyle, C.A.T., Ondik, M., Miller, R.G., Miller, B.P. and Ooi, M.K.J. (2022) Success of post-fire plant recovery strategies varies with shifting fire seasonality. Communications Earth & Environment, 3 (1). Art. 126.

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Wildfires are increasing in size and severity and fire seasons are lengthening, largely driven by climate and land-use change. Many plant species from fire-prone ecosystems are adapted to specific fire regimes corresponding to historical conditions and shifts beyond these bounds may have severe impacts on vegetation recovery and long-term species persistence. Here, we conduct a meta-analysis of field-based studies across different vegetation types and climate regions to investigate how post-fire plant recruitment, reproduction and survival are affected by fires that occur outside of the historical fire season. We find that fires outside of the historical fire season may lead to decreased post-fire recruitment, particularly in obligate seeding species. Conversely, we find a general increase in post-fire survival in resprouting species. Our results highlight the trade-offs that exist when considering the effects of changes in the seasonal timing of fire, an already present aspect of climate-related fire regime change.

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