Smoke and heat effects on soil seed bank germination for the re-establishment of a native forest community in New South Wales

Read, T. R., Bellairs, S. M., Mulligan, D. R. and Lamb, D. (2000) Smoke and heat effects on soil seed bank germination for the re-establishment of a native forest community in New South Wales. Austral Ecology, 25 1: 48-57. doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.2000.tb00006.x

Author Read, T. R.
Bellairs, S. M.
Mulligan, D. R.
Lamb, D.
Title Smoke and heat effects on soil seed bank germination for the re-establishment of a native forest community in New South Wales
Journal name Austral Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1442-9985
Publication date 2000-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2000.tb00006.x
Open Access Status
Volume 25
Issue 1
Start page 48
End page 57
Total pages 10
Editor Bull, M.
Place of publication Mebourne
Publisher Blackwell Science Asia
Language eng
Subject C1
300801 Environmental Management and Rehabilitation
771007 Rehabilitation of degraded mining lands
050206 Environmental Monitoring
050207 Environmental Rehabilitation (excl. Bioremediation)
Abstract The effects of plant-derived smoke and of heat on the emergence of seedlings from seeds were assessed. Seeds had been stored in forest topsoil used for mine site rehabilitation. The study was carried out in a dry sclerophyll, spotted gum (Corymbia maculata), forest community at the Mount Owen open-cut coal mine in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales. Samples of the surface 2.5 cm of topsoil were either exposed to cool smoke from eucalypt foliage for 60 min, heated to 80 degrees C, or left untreated. Seedling emergence from the seed bank in this soil was then monitored in a glasshouse. Within the first month, smoke alone promoted a 4.3-fold increase in the density of seedlings relative to control. There were 540 emergents per m(2) in the control and 2309 per m(2) in the smoke treated topsoil. Many annual and perennial herbs emerged but grasses responded most strongly to smoke. Germination in seven of the 20 grass species was promoted by smoke. Smoke promoted the germination of some introduced species as well as native species, and accelerated the rate at which seedlings emerged, although these differences sometimes declined with time. Heat also stimulated germination but smoke and heat stimuli appeared to be complementary in their promotion of seedling emergence from the topsoil seed bank. Each treatment increased the density of different species, enhanced the species richness of different components of the seed bank, and had different effects on the rate of emergence. The results suggest that increased seed germination in the field immediately following a moderate intensity fire may sometimes be the result of smoke stimulation and sometimes the result of heat stimulation of the soil seed bank. These findings may have important implications for minesite revegetation programs where topsoils are replaced after mining and rapid germination of seeds stored in these soils is required during short periods when conditions are favourable for germination.
Keyword Ecology
Mine Rehabilitation
Seed Dormancy
Soil Seed Bank
Plant-derived Smoke
Charred Wood
Ecological Aspects
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 60 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 10 Jun 2008, 20:59:45 EST