Seed mass and seedling establishment after fire in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Sydney, Australia

Angela T. Moles*, Mark Westoby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Relationships between seed mass and several aspects of plant regeneration ecology were investigated in a post-fire environment in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park near Sydney, Australia. We found a significant positive relationship between seed mass and time to seedling emergence (P < 0.001) and a strong negative relationship between seed mass and time between emergence and production of the first true leaf (P < 0.001). Surprisingly, we found no relationship between seed mass and seedling establishment (P = 0.21). It seems most likely that this lack of relationship is a result of the many stochastic factors affecting seedling establishment during any given recruitment episode at any given site. A cause of mortality was assigned to 56% of the 781 seedlings that died during the present study. There was no relationship between cause of death and seed mass (P = 0.28). Of the seedlings for which the cause of death was known, 57% were killed by herbivory and 21% were killed by drought. Seedling-seedling competition affected only one species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-390
Number of pages8
JournalAustral Ecology
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004

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