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1 April 2003 Impact of two wildfires on endemic granite outcrop vegetation in Western Australia
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Abstract

In seasonally dry regions of the world fire is a recurring disturbance but little is known of how fire interacts with granite outcrop vegetation. We hypothesize that the floristic composition in granite vegetation, usually attributed to the edaphic environment, may also reflect the impact of disturbances such as fire. Dramatic differences in floristic composition and cover over 13 years and two fires were observed in vegetation on a Western Australian granite outcrop. This was very marked in the first year following the two fires, with annuals and geophytes showing the greatest turnover of species. Even among the perennial shrubs there was considerable turnover in a number of obligate seeders. After the first fire the number of species declined for woody perennials, herbaceous perennials and annuals, remained unchanged for perennial grasses and sedges, and varied with highest richness 4 yr after fire for geophytes. Demographic studies of two endemic woody obligate seeders and three endemic mallee eucalypt resprouters similarly showed dramatic differences within and between species in seedling recruitment following the two fires. Fire does have a significant impact on the floristic composition of semi-arid granite outcrop vegetation communities. Studies on other granite outcrop systems are needed to test the generality of this conclusion.

Nomenclature: follows the database of Western Australian plant names maintained by the Western Australian Herbarium (Paczkowska & Chapman 2000).

Colin J. Yates, Stephen D. Hopper, Andrew Brown, and Stephen van Leeuwen "Impact of two wildfires on endemic granite outcrop vegetation in Western Australia," Journal of Vegetation Science 14(2), (1 April 2003). https://doi.org/10.1658/1100-9233(2003)014[0185:IOTWOE]2.0.CO;2
Received: 3 January 2002; Accepted: 31 October 2002; Published: 1 April 2003
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