Using Heat and Smoke Treatments to Simulate the Effects of Fire on Soil Seed Banks in Four Australian Vegetation Communities

Page, M. J. (2009) Using Heat and Smoke Treatments to Simulate the Effects of Fire on Soil Seed Banks in Four Australian Vegetation Communities. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, The, 115 1-8.


Author Page, M. J.
Title Using Heat and Smoke Treatments to Simulate the Effects of Fire on Soil Seed Banks in Four Australian Vegetation Communities
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, The   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0080-469X
Publication date 2009
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 115
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Editor Julie Robins
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Royal Society of Queensland
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
050205 Environmental Management
9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation
Abstract The aim of this project was to investigate the ability of artificially applied smoke and heat stimuli to simulate field responses of soil seed banks to fire. The ability to simulate field responses to fire would allow managers to better understand the effects that fire might have on a community before actually burning it. This knowledge is greatly lacking for many Australian ecosystems at present, such that fire is avoided as a management tool for fear of negative ecological impacts. The composition and density of seedlings was compared between soil samples subjected to fire in the field and soil samples treated with a range of heat and smoke stimuli in 4 different Australian ecosystems along a rainfall gradient from subtropical to arid. The treatments used were: no treatment; smoke for 1 hour; heat at 80 C; heat at 80 C and smoke for 1 hour; heat at 105 C; heat at 105 C and smoke for 1 hour. The results vary greatly between ecosystems with no one treatment closely simulating the effects of fire. In addition, there was no significant difference between the control and the fire treatment in terms of the number of species or the abundance of seedlings that emerged from the seed bank. Thus the role of fire and fire related cues in stimulating seed banks is discussed. The results also revealed a relationship between seed bank response and the likely 'natural' fire frequency of an ecosystem which may be useful to identify optimal fire intervals when managing for biodiversity. However, this needs further investigation.
Keyword Soil seed banks
Biotic communities -- Australia
Plants -- Effect of fires on
Plant communities -- Australia
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
 
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Created: Mon, 29 Mar 2010, 11:26:38 EST by Marie-Louise Moore on behalf of School of Integrative Systems