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Do Mixed Fire Regimes Shape Plant Flammability and Post-Fire Recovery Strategies?

1
College of the Environment, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459, USA
2
Department of Biology, University of Maine at Farmington, Farmington, ME 04938, USA
3
Fynbos Node, South African Environmental Observation Network, Claremont 7735, South Africa
4
Centre for Statistics in Ecology, Environment and Conservation, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
5
School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract

The development of frameworks for better-understanding ecological syndromes and putative evolutionary strategies of plant adaptation to fire has recently received a flurry of attention, including a new model hypothesizing that plants have diverged into three different plant flammability strategies due to natural selection. We provide three case studies of pyromes/taxa (Pinus, the Proteaceae of the Cape Floristic Region, and Eucalyptus) that, contrary to model assumptions, reveal that plant species often exhibit traits of more than one of these flammability and post-fire recovery strategies. We propose that such multiple-strategy adaptations have been favoured as bet-hedging strategies in response to selective pressure from mixed-fire regimes experienced by these species over evolutionary time. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire-adapted traits; fire severity; fire risk; fire-prone ecosystems; fire regimes; mixed-severity fire regimes; plant flammability; plant flammability strategies fire-adapted traits; fire severity; fire risk; fire-prone ecosystems; fire regimes; mixed-severity fire regimes; plant flammability; plant flammability strategies
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Poulos, H.M.; Barton, A.M.; Slingsby, J.A.; Bowman, D.M. Do Mixed Fire Regimes Shape Plant Flammability and Post-Fire Recovery Strategies? Fire 2018, 1, 39.

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