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Title: Effect of season of burning and removal of herbaceous cover on seedling emergence in a eucalypt savanna of north-eastern Australia
Contributor(s): Williams, Paul R (author); Congdon, Robert A (author); Grice, Anthony C (author); Clarke, Peter John  (author)
Publication Date: 2005
DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2005.01484.x
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Abstract: Seedling emergence in a eucalypt savanna of north-eastern Australia was documented over a 12-month period, between May 1999 and May 2000. Seedling emergence for grasses, forbs and subshrubs was found to mainly occur in a brief pulse at the start of the wet season following fire or the removal of grass biomass. Only a minor number of tree and shrub seedlings were detected overall. Burning, or cutting away the grass layer in unburnt savanna, in both the early (i.e. May) and the late (i.e. October) dry seasons significantly increased seedling emergence over undisturbed savanna that had been unburnt for 3 years. Removing the grass layer in unburnt savanna, during either the early or the late dry season, triggered similar seedling densities to savanna burnt in the early dry season. Late dry season fires promoted the greatest seedling density. We attribute this to the higher intensity, late dry season fires releasing a greater proportion of seed from dormancy, coupled with the higher density of soil seed reserves present in the late dry season.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Austral Ecology, 30(5), p. 491-496
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1442-9985
Field of Research (FOR): 060703 Plant Developmental and Reproductive Biology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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