Skip to main content

Post-Fire Growth Strategies of Resprouting Florida Scrub Vegetation

Abstract

Although resprouting is recognized as a key post-disturbance response for plants, few studies have closely examined post-fire growth responses of resprouting species. Following a prescribed burn in Florida scrub, we compared intraspecific and interspecific growth patterns of 16 resprouting shrub species. We then examined how resprouting growth is related to species life history strategies to understand how the resprouting response could contribute to niche differentiation and species coexistence. We defined growth by calculating relative growth rates based on height, crown area, and crown volume of resprouts. In addition, we measured the number, diameter, and height of all resprouting stems. The number and diameter of all stems present before fire were also estimated. The number of resprouting stems after the fire was higher than the number of stems present before the fire for all species. As expected, species varied significantly in their post-fire growth rates, especially between those with differing recovery modes. Resprouting shrubs that are also post-fire seeders had the lowest growth rates compared to those that resprout and grow clonally, those that only resprout, and palmettos. We also found differences in post-fire growth among species with different growth forms, with palmettos having the fastest growth, followed by shrubs, and then by sub-shrubs. Within species, tradeoffs were found between height and the density of new stems, but not between height and diameter of re-sprouting stems. Overall, Florida scrub species exhibit a continuum of post-fire growth rates, suggesting the coexistence of a number of successful strategies for post-fire re-sprouting rather than a single optimal recovery strategy.

Introduction

The capacity of woody plants to persist after fire in many of the world’s ecosystems is remarkable (Bond and Midgley 2001, Del Tredici 2001, Pausas et al. 2004). In Florida scrub, most plants are adapted to fire and there is minimal vegetation change with periodic fire (Abrahamson 1984a). Many species, including rare plants, can survive and respond positively to fire (Slapcinsky et al. 2010). Species can resprout, spread clonally, and recruit seedlings from persistent soil or aerial seed banks (Menges and Kohfeldt 1995).

Resprouting is a widespread adaptation allowing persistence in disturbed ecosystems (Bond and Midgley 2001), and is an ancestral trait in angiosperms (Lloret et al. 1999, Bond and Midgley 2003). Resprouting plants are able to respond to many types of disturbances by quickly regaining aboveground biomass after a disturbance event such as fire (Bond and Midgley 2003). The same genotype can continue to occupy a site throughout disturbance cycles, lending long-term stability to many pyrogenic ecosystems (Clarke et al. 2010). Nonetheless, variation in the vigor of resprouting in response to disturbances of various intensities and frequencies will be important to ecosystem responses to disturbance regimes.

In systems with intense fire disturbance, percentages of resprouting species are generally bimodal, with few species having resprouting proportions in the 30 % to 70 % range (Vesk and Westoby 2004). This bimodal distribution does not hold for lower fire intensities and other types of disturbances (Vesk and Westoby 2004). The resprouting response can vary within species depending on fire frequency; intensity; and season (Schmalzer and Hinkle 1992, Bellingham and Sparrow 2000, Weekley and Menges 2003, Konstantinidis et al. 2005); and environmental factors such as habitat type, climate, and nutrient availability (Cruz et al. 2002, Lloret et al. 2004, Clarke et al. 2005). In reality, there is a continuum of recovery strategies across disturbance regimes (Bellingham and Sparrow 2000).

Much of the work on resprouting plants has contrasted the life-history strategies of resprouters and non-resprouters. Resprouters live longer, have later maturation, and produce fewer seeds than non-resprouters (Bond and Midgley 2001, Pausas et al. 2004, Knox and Clarke 2005, Pausas and Verdú 2005). In contrast, since obligate seeders are killed by fire or other disturbances, they necessarily recover by seedling recruitment (Keeley 1986, Vesk and Westoby 2004). Resprouting plants invest more resources in persistence, while seeders use their resources for recruitment (Pausas and Verdú 2005). Obligate seeders also produce seeds that have higher germination in response to heat (Paula and Pausas 2008). Although these two modes of recovery are often treated as distinct, there is not a clear dichotomy between resprouters and non-resprouters. Some species regenerate by both resprouting and seedling recruitment (Menges and Kohfeldt 1995). When this is the case, species that resprout vigorously as adults tend to have lower seedling recruitment than less vigorous resprouters, indicating a tradeoff even among species with mixed recovery modes (Bond and Midgley 2001).

Resprouting vigor should be affected by competition for resources, and species that are specialized to resprout should have stronger resprouting vigor than species that combine resprouting with other recovery modes. For example, species that recover from fire by seedling recruitment and also resprout would be predicted to have lower resprouting vigor than resprouting specialists (Bellingham and Sparrow 2000). In addition, if a species allocates resources to recovering through clonal spread, it will have lower resprouting vigor due to competition among ramets for genet resources (Chapin et al. 1990, Matlack 1997). Within one recovery mode, the vigor of resprouting can vary among species (Hodgkinson 1998, Bond and Midgley 2001, Weekley and Menges 2003), due to the tradeoffs among intrinsic growth rate, resource storage, and resprouting vigor (Gurvich et al. 2005). Post-fire growth rates should also vary among species with different growth forms due to inherent differences in allocation. For example, shrubs tend to have larger root systems than sub-shrubs, which would make more resources available for post-fire recovery. Resprouting patterns can also vary among individuals of the same species (Bond and Midgley 2001, Gurvich et al. 2005, Vivian et al. 2010). Resprouting vigor is influenced both by plant size before fire and by concentrations of nonstructural carbohydrates stored belowground (Malanson and Trabaud 1988, Bowen and Pate 1993, Lloret and Lopez-Soria 1993, Olano et al. 2006, Quevedo et al. 2007). Resprouting vigor can be measured in different ways, and there are likely tradeoffs among different aspects of post-fire growth. Within a species, an individual that allocates more to height gain should produce fewer stems (Falster and Westoby 2005). Stem diameter should increase with stem height, but the growth in height relative to the growth in diameter will differ among species (Schafer 2010).

We conducted our research in scrubby flat-woods, a type of Florida scrub. Scrubby flat-woods are dominated by evergreen shrubs such as oaks, palmettos, and ericads (Abrahamson 1984a, b; Schmalzer and Hinkle 1992; Menges and Kohfeldt 1995). Most dominant species have high root:shoot ratios that allow them to quickly regenerate aboveground structures after fires (Johnson et al. 1986, Saha et al. 2010). Scrubby flatwoods were once burned by lightning-ignited fires (Myers 1990, Duncan and Schmalzer 2004), probably at intervals of 8 to 16 years (Menges 2007). Protected areas of scrubby flatwoods are currently managed by prescribed fire, but the majority of extant scrubby flatwoods is fire-suppressed. This can cause deleterious structural and functional changes, including the reduction of biodiversity, especially in the herbaceous layer (Menges et al. 1993, Abrahamson and Abrahamson 1996). Resprouting is relatively more important in Florida scrub (Menges and Kohfeldt 1995, Weekley and Menges 2003) than many other pyrogenic ecosystems where both resprouting and post-fire seeding are widespread (Lloret et al. 1999). With most Florida scrub species recovering from fire by resprouting, differences in the resprouting vigor may be important in structuring communities and maintaining diversity in Florida scrub. Previous studies in Florida scrub have documented differences in resprouting vigor, but only by quantifying differences in cover or individual resprouting probabilities (Abrahamson 1984b, Weekley and Menges 2003, Vesk and Westoby 2004). The aim of this study was to examine the post-fire growth strategies of resprouting Florida scrub plants and compare intraspecific and interspecific growth patterns. We examined how resprouting growth is related to species life history strategies in order to understand how the resprouting response could contribute to niche differentiation and species coexistence. We also examined tradeoffs in the type of resprouting growth to identify possible constraints in resprouting strategies. Based largely on prior studies, we hypothesized that:

  1. 1.

    Individuals with greater pre-fire size would have higher post-fire growth rates of resprouting stems.

  2. 2.

    Post-fire growth rates would vary among growth forms (shrub, sub-shrub, and palmetto). Sub-shrubs would have the slowest post-fire growth rates, palmettos the highest growth rates, and shrubs intermediate (Schmalzer and Hinkle 1992, Abrahamson and Abrahamson 2006).

  3. 3.

    Post-fire growth rates would vary among post-fire recovery modes (resprout only, resprout and seed, resprout and clonal, and palmetto). Species that grow both clonally and by resprouting would have the lowest post-fire growth rates, followed by species that are both post-fire seeders and resprouters, then by obligate resprouters.

  4. 4.

    There would be tradeoffs between stem density and height as well as between stem diameter and height.

Methods

Study Site

We conducted this study at Archbold Biological Station (ABS) (27°11′ N, 81°21′ W, Highlands County, Lake Placid, Florida, USA), an inland Florida scrub site located at the southern tip of the Lake Wales Ridge (Weekley et al. 2008) in south-central Florida. Among the multiple vegetation types identified by Abrahamson et al. (1984), we confined this study to scrubby flatwoods, the most common vegetation type at ABS. This habitat was dominated by resprouting shrubs including oaks (Archbold oak [Quercus inopina Ashe], sand live oak [Q. geminata Small], Chapman oak [Q. chapmanii Sarg.]), ericaceous shrubs (fetterbush lyonia [Lyonia lucida {Lam.} K. Koch], coastal plain staggerbush [L. fruticosa {Michx.} G.S. Torr], shiny blueberry [Vaccinium myrsinites Lam.]), and palmettos (saw palmetto [Serenoa repens {Bartram} Small] and scrub palmetto [Sabal etonia Swingle ex Nash]) (Menges and Kohfeldt 1995). There are little data on natural fire regimes, but the estimated fire return interval used for management of scrubby flatwoods is about 8 yr to 16 yr (Menges 2007).

Prescribed fires are used at ABS to maintain the structure and function of native ecosystems and to test research questions. The property is divided into burn units with documented fire histories. We collected all data from a 97.1 ha burn unit 61B, located in the south end of ABS, just after its most recent fire (22 October 2008). This fire was prescribed and ignited using drip torches, with a combination of backing, flanking, and head fires. Fire weather included a maximum temperature of 29 °C, minimum relative humidity about 45 %, maximum wind speed of about 5 m s−1, winds from NE to ENE, and clear skies. Flame lengths were not reported. The fire burned a mosaic of vegetation, primarily flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, seasonal ponds, and rosemary scrub. Most of this vegetation had last been burned in 1986. The 1986 fire occurred on 7 to 8 June, and was ignited by lightning. It was extinguished by a combination of backing fires and rain. The 1986 fire had flame lengths of 2 m to 4 m and was driven by gusty, shifting winds.

Species

We collected size data from 16 of the most common woody (shrub) resprouting species exhibiting a range of post-fire recovery modes and growth forms: bigflower pawpaw (Asimina obovata [Willd. Nash]), tarflower (Bejaria racemosa Vent.), dwarf huckleberry (Gaylussacia dumosa [Andrews] Torr. & A. Gray), gopher apple (Licania michauxii Prance), coastal plain staggerbush, fetterbush lyonia, Feay’s palafox (Palafoxia feayi A. Gray), silk bay (Persea humilis Nash), Chapman oak, sand live oak, Archbold oak, scrub palmetto, saw palmetto, Darrow’s vaccinium (Vaccinium darrowii Camp), shiny blueberry, and tallow wood (Ximenia americana L.) (Table 1). Being monocots, the two palmettos lack secondary growth and they also appear demographically unique (Abrahamson and Abrahamson 2009); therefore, we classified them as an additional growth form (Table 1).

Table 1 Study species, family, sample size, growth form (shrub, sub-shrub, or palmetto), and post-fire recovery mode (resprouter, clonal, seeder) classification for resprouting species in Florida, USA, in 2009.

Sampling

We collected data in February and March 2009 during the winter dry season, after four to five months of post-fire recovery. We randomly established three 60 m transects in the recently burned scrubby flatwoods using GIS with the criteria that they were at least 10 m from the edge of sand roads and from other habitat types. Along each transect, we randomly chose two points within each 10 m segment, then measured the nearest plant of each species within 1 m of each point until we had sampled 12 individuals per species per transect. We sampled in this way to ensure adequate sample sizes for the less common species. If fewer than 12 individuals were present along the transect, we searched the area around the transect until at least 12 individuals per transect were sampled.

We defined an individual plant as clumps of stems that included all stems within 15 cm of each other. Most of the species studied here form distinct clumps (e.g., Johnson and Abrahamson 2002), and we recorded measurements only for well-defined clumps. We recognized that these “individuals” could be clones connected underground, but determining connectivity was impractical for this study. For each plant, we took measurements on burnt remains of stems present before the burn as well as on stems that resprouted after the burn. We measured stem number and basal stem diameter at the soil surface on each skeletal stem of the burnt remains to estimate the pre-fire size of the plant. We assumed that the majority of stems present before fire left behind intact charred stems because of the absence of stubs at the base, and that they retained similar diameters. In some cases, this may have underestimated the size and number of stems present before the fire, but this would be rare (as in Gurvich et al. 2005). To quantify the resprouting response, we measured stem number, basal diameter, and height of each resprouting stem, as well as the maximum crown diameter length and the perpendicular crown width of the resprouts. To estimate pre-fire size for palmettos (scrub palmetto and saw palmetto), whose stems are often belowground, we recorded only the stem diameter of the aboveground portion of the stem where it emerged from the ground. Resprouting in palmettos was measured in terms of numbers of leaves and the height of each leaf.

Analysis

We calculated relative growth rates based on height, area, and volume, each defined as the natural logarithm of the growth measure divided by the number of days after the fire that the plant was measured. Crown area was estimated as the area of the ellipse calculated from the length of the maximum crown diameter and the perpendicular crown width. Volume growth was calculated as the product of the area of the ellipse and mean stem height:

$$\pi \;(l \times {2^{ - 1}})(w \times {2^{ - 1}}){h^{ - 1}}$$
(1)

We analyzed intraspecific relationships between growth rates and estimated pre-fire size using linear regressions. To estimate pre-fire size of each plant (as defined above), we used the summed basal stem diameter of burnt remains. We compared volume growth rates among species, growth forms, and post-fire recovery modes with one-way ANCOVAs with pre-fire size as a covariate. We then compared pairwise differences in relative growth rates between species pairs using Bonferroni post-hoc tests. We used relative growth rates based on height to examine tradeoffs between different types of stem growth using Pearson correlations. Before analysis, we natural log transformed pre-fire size estimates and stem densities to meet statistical assumptions. We used IBM® SPSS® Statistics18 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA) for all analyses.

Results

Influence of Pre-Fire Size on Post-Fire Size

In general, post-fire size (volume) increased with estimated pre-fire size (summed stem diameter) (n = 596, r2 = 0.508, P ≤ 0.001) (Figure 1). The strength and direction of this relationship varied among species. Of the 12 species in which significant relationships were found, all were positive. Silk bay had the strongest and dwarf huckleberry the weakest relationships (Table 2). No significant relationship was found for Feay’s palafox, tallow wood, and shiny blueberry (Table 2).

Figure 1
figure1

Relative growth rate (RGR) based on volume (cm3 × cm−3 × day) as a function of pre-fire size defined as the summed stem diameter (mm) across sixteen shrub species (n = 596, r2 = 0.508, P ≤ 0.001). Each point represents an individual plant. Data were collected in February and March 2009 following an October 2008 prescribed burn in Florida scrubby flatwoods habitat at Archbold Biological Station (Lake Placid, Florida, USA).

Table 2 Results from regressions of volume of resprouting stems and estimated pre-fire size (summed diameter of burnt stems), and correlations of mean height growth with mean stem density and mean stem diameter for clumps of resprouting stems for resprouting species in Florida, USA, in 2009. Stem density and stem diameters were not measured for palmettos, which have belowground stems.

All species responded to fire by generating more stems after fire than the estimated number of stems before fire (with saw palmetto and scrub palmetto excluded from the analysis). The ratio of the number of new stems to the number of old stems was highest for tarflower and silk bay (Appendix 1).

Species Differences in Post-Fire Relative Growth Rates

Post-fire relative volume growth rates varied among species (n = 594, F15, 577 = 38.115, P ≤ 0.001), with estimated pre-fire size as a covariate (F1, 577 = 227.31, P ≤ 0.001). The 16 species fell along a continuum with scrub palmetto having the highest relative growth rates, about double that of Feay’s palafox, the lowest relative growth rates (Figure 2). Pairwise comparisons separated palmettos from all other species (P < 0.05); the other 14 species fell into six overlapping groups. Species also varied in relative height and area growth rates as well as post-fire stem number, diameter, and density (Appendix 1).

Figure 2
figure2

Species differences in relative volume growth rate (RGR, cm3 × cm−3 × day) ordered from fastest growing to slowest growing. Error bars indicate 95 % confidence intervals. Species abbreviations are defined in Table 2.

Relative growth rates varied among groups of species with different growth forms: shrubs, sub-shrubs, and palmettos (n = 594, F2,590 = 128.52, P ≤ 0.001), with estimated pre-fire size as a covariate (F1, 590 = 160.31, P ≤ 0.001) (Figure 3). As expected, palmettos had the fastest growth, which was 32 % higher than shrubs (P ≤ 0.001) and 88 % higher than sub-shrubs (P ≤ 0.001). There were also significant differences in relative growth rates among species grouped by different recovery modes: resprouting only, resprouting and seeding, resprouting and clonal growth, and palmetto (n = 594, F3, 589 = 141.43, P ≤ 0.001), with estimated pre-fire size as a covariate (F1, 589 = 791.41, P ≤ 0.001) (Figure 4). Species that regenerate only from resprouting had relative growth rates 31 % lower that palmettos (P ≤ 0.001); species that resprout and grow clonally had relative growth rates 2 % lower than resprouters (P ≤ 0.001), and 33 % lower than palmettos (P ≤ 0.001). Species that combined resprouting and post-fire seeding had the lowest relative growth rates (P ≤ 0.001).

Figure 3
figure3

Relative volume growth (RGR, cm3 × cm−3 × day) differences among different growth forms: shrubs, sub-shrubs, and palmettos. Error bars indicate 95 % confidence intervals.

Figure 4
figure4

Relative volume growth (RGR, cm3 × cm−3 × day) differences among different post-fire recovery mechanisms: resprouting only, resprouting and seeding, both resprouting and clonal growth, and palmetto. Error bars indicate 95 % confidence intervals.

Growth Tradeoffs

A tradeoff between height growth and stem production was apparent across and within species. There was a negative correlation between the relative height growth rate and stem density (n = 512, r = −0.647, P ≤ 0.001) (Figure 5), indicating a tradeoff between these types of growth (palmettos were not included in the analyses because stem density was not measured). There were also significant negative correlations between the relative height growth rate and stem density within each of the 14 species included in the analysis (Table 2). The opposite was true for relative height growth rate and stem diameter, which showed a positive correlation overall (n = 512, r = 0.654, P ≤ 0.001) and for each species considered separately (Table 2).

Figure 5
figure5

The relationship between the relative height growth rate (RGR, cm × cm−1 × day) and stem density (number of stems × cm−2) for all species except saw palmetto and scrub palmetto. Each point represents an individual plant (n = 147, r = −0.504, P ≤ 0.001).

Discussion

Resprouting vigor, measured by relative growth rate, varied widely among Florida scrub species. While species fell along a continuum of post-fire resprouting vigor, the two palmetto species had markedly faster rates of initial re-growth. Excluding palmettos, species recovering from fire only by resprouting had the fastest growth, while species with mixed recovery modes exhibited slower growth rates.

Palmettos had the strongest resprouting response even though they also have substantial post-fire seedling recruitment. This is consistent with other studies that highlight palmettos’ adaptation to fire (Schmalzer and Hinkle 1992, Menges and Kohfeldt 1995, Abrahamson and Abrahamson 2006). Palmettos have extremely high ratios of belowground to aboveground biomass and up to 90 % of belowground biomass allocated to storage organs (Saha et al. 2010). Although palmettos recruit by seed post-fire, growth from seedlings is remarkably slow (Abrahamson and Abrahamson 2009). Palmettos also have very high survival rates even as small plants (Abrahamson and Abrahamson 2002, 2009) and saw palmetto clones are tens of thousands of years old (Takahashi et al. 2011). This unique combination of traits, including stress tolerance and strong response to disturbance (Grime 1977), makes palmettos exceptionally successful in pyrogenic ecosystems in Florida.

In contrast, initial post-fire responses of oaks were slower than palmettos. This is consistent with the visual appearance of scrubby flatwoods, which appears palmetto dominated for several months, but oak dominated after a year or so. Oaks are more persistent than palmettos in long unburned sites (Menges et al. 1993). Scrub oaks are known to double in number of shoots after fire, and then thin out as shoot size increases (Abrahamson 1984b, Johnson and Abrahamson 2002). Our results show that all three oaks more than double in the number of shoots shortly after fire. Sand live oak had a slightly higher proportion of post-fire stems to pre-fire stems than Archbold oak, which is consistent with previous findings of an increased abundance of sand live oak after fire (Abrahamson 1984b). These initial responses could have an impact on relative abundance of stems over time despite thinning.

While tradeoffs exist among different post-fire recovery modes such as post-fire seeders and post-fire resprouters (Bond and Midgley 2001, Pausas and Verdú 2005), this study is one of the first to show tradeoffs among re-sprouting species. These tradeoffs could be important in maintaining species diversity in this system. Species that combined resprouting with seeding had lower post-fire growth than species with other recovery modes, possibly because they have significant resources tied up in sexual reproduction, relative to resprouting specialists. These patterns were consistent with hypotheses made prior to the study.

We hypothesized that clonal resprouting species would have slower post-fire growth than resprouters due to competition between allocation to clonal spread and resprouting per se (Matlack 1997). While this hypothesis was supported, the difference was small. Species that can both resprout and spread clonally (with little tradeoff) can take advantage of the temporary availability of post-fire space. For example, other studies indicate that shiny blueberry increases clonal growth after fire, and its density and height peak around one year after fire before decreasing (Abrahamson 1984b, Menges and Kohfeldt 1995). There is a similar pattern in dwarf huckleberry, which peaks around 6 months post-fire (Abrahamson 1984b). By increasing allocation to clonal shoots, these subordinate shrubs can quickly exploit open space before larger shrubs recover.

For most species in the present study, resprouting vigor increased with estimated pre-fire plant size, and stem number increased after fire, which is consistent with previous studies (Lloret and Lopez-Soria 1993, Quevedo et al. 2007). Within individuals, we found a negative correlation between plant height and stem density, which suggests a tradeoff among these types of growth, as hypothesized. This indicates that there is high competition among stems of the same plant and that there are constraints on the number and size of resprouting stems. We did not find evidence for a tradeoff in stem height and diameter at the individual level, but height scaled with stem diameter differently among species. This is consistent with patterns found in Schafer (2010) for scrub oaks and ericaceous shrubs.

The growth responses we found from this single fire may not be indicative of all fires. Growth rates in this study were measured after 22 years of fire exclusion, slightly longer than the proposed fire rotation for scrubby flat-woods (8 yr to 16 yr; Menges 2007). We expect that most species had large reserves of carbohydrates and that the observed resprouting response might be greater than resprouting in frequently burned sites (E. Menges, Archbold Biological Station, unpublished data). However, there is also a possibility that the effects of infrequent fire had negative effects on resprouting vigor. Depletion of carbohydrate reserves due to competition and decreased bud viability may lead to lower vigor (Drewa et al. 2002). The resprouting response may have also been affected by seasonality. The season for lightning-ignited fires in Florida peaks in late spring and early summer (Robbins and Myers 1992). The fall burn in this study was at the end of the growing season when seasonal carbohydrate levels are predicted to be lowest (Drewa et al. 2002).

Resprouting vigor is affected by storage organ size and morphology (Del Tredici 2001). Specialized storage organs may allow for rapid post-fire growth and quick flowering, and subsequently high seedling recruitment after fire (Olano et al. 2006). Genet age and size, not known for these species, could influence differences in resprouting vigor. Clones of scrub oaks have been shown to occupy areas from 30 m2 to 1000 m2 (Guerin 1993). Saw palmetto clones can be very large and very old; nevertheless, clonal diversity exists within small areas (Takahashi et al. 2011). Finally, a better understanding of clonal structure could help us further understand growth tradeoffs in resprouting shrubs.

Our study highlights the diversity of ways co-occurring resprouting plants recover after fire, and shows that some of this variation can be predicted by growth form and the presence of other post-fire recovery modes. The size of an individual also affects its resprouting vigor and additional factors such as past fire regime, carbohydrate dynamics, and clonal structure undoubtedly play a role in resprouting. In Florida scrub, resprouters dominate and the range of resprouting strategies may allow these species coexistence and the maintenance of species diversity. Resprouting has been increasingly recognized as a key functional trait that is important to understanding the resilience of ecosystems undergoing human-caused disturbances; therefore, individual- and species-level differences in resprouting responses can be important for informing management.

Literature Cited

  1. Abrahamson, W.G. 1984a. Post-fire recovery of Florida Lake Wales Ridge vegetation. American Journal of Botany 71: 9–21. doi: 10.2307/2443618

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Abrahamson, W.G. 1984b. Species responses to fire on the Florida Lake Wales Ridge. American Journal of Botany 71: 35–43. doi: 10.2307/2443621

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Abrahamson, W.G., and J.R. Abrahamson. 1996. Effects of a low-intensity winter fire on longunburned Florida sand pine scrub. Natural Areas Journal 16: 171–183.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Abrahamson, W.G., and C.R. Abrahamson. 2002. Persistent palmettos: effects of the 2000–2001 drought on Serenoa repens and Sabal etonia. Florida Scientist 65: 281–292.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Abrahamson, W.G., and C.R. Abrahamson. 2006. Post-fire canopy recovery in two fire-adapted palms, Serenoa repens and Sabal etonia (Arecaceae). Florida Scientist 69: 69–79.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Abrahamson, W.G., and C.R. Abrahamson. 2009. Life in the slow lane: palmetto seedlings exhibit remarkable survival but slow growth in Florida’s nutrient-poor uplands. Castanea 74: 123–132. doi: 10.2179/08-033.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Abrahamson, W.G., A.F. Johnson, J.N. Layne, and P.A. Peroni. 1984. Vegetation of the Archbold Biological Station, Florida: an example of the southern Lake Wales Ridge. Florida Scientist 47: 209–250.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Bellingham, P.J., and A.D. Sparrow. 2000. Resprouting as a life history strategy in woody plant communities. Oikos 89: 409–416. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0706.2000.890224.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Bond, W.J., and J.J. Midgley. 2001. Ecology of sprouting in woody plants: the persistence niche. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16: 45–51. doi: 10.1016/S0169-5347(00)02033-4

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Bond, W.J., and J.J. Midgley. 2003. The evolutionary ecology of sprouting in woody plants. International Journal of Plant Sciences 164: S103–S114. doi: 10.1086/374191

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Bowen, B.J., and J.S. Pate. 1993. The significance of root starch in post-fire shoot recovery of the resprouter Stirlingia latifolia R. Br. (Proteaceae). Annals of Botany 72: 7–16. doi: 10.1006/anbo.1993.1075

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Chapin, F.S., E. Schulze, and H.A. Mooney. 1990. The ecology and economics of storage in plants. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 21: 423–447. doi: 10.1146/annurev.es.21.110190.002231

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Clarke, P.J., J.E. Knox, K.E. Wills, and M. Campbell. 2005. Landscape patterns of woody plant response to crown fire: disturbance and productivity influence sprouting ability. Journal of Ecology 93: 544–555. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2005.00971.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Clarke, P.J., M.J. Lawes, and J.J. Midgley. 2010. Resprouting as a key functional trait in woody plants—challenges to developing new organizing principles. New Phytologist 188: 651–654. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03508.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Cruz, A., B. Perez, J.R. Quintana, R. Jose, and J.M. Moreno. 2002. Resprouting in the Mediterranean-type shrub Erica australis affected by soil resource availability. Journal of Vegetation Science 13: 641–650.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Del Tredici, P. 2001. Sprouting in temperate trees: a morphological and ecological review. The Botanical Review 67: 121–140. doi: 10.1007/BF02858075

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Drewa, P.B., W.J. Platt, and E.B. Moser. 2002. Fire effects on resprouting of shrubs in headwaters of southeastern longleaf pine savannas. Ecology 83: 755–767. doi: 10.1890/0012-9658(2002)083[0755:FEOROS]2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Duncan, B.W., and P.A. Schmalzer. 2004. Anthropogenic influences on potential fire spread in a pyrogenic ecosystem of Florida, USA. Landscape Ecology 19: 153–165. doi: 10.1023/B:LAND.0000021714.97148.ac

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Falster, D.S., and M. Westoby. 2005. Tradeoffs between height growth rate, stem persistence and maximum height among plant species in a post-fire succession. Oikos 111: 57–66. doi: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2005.13383.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Grime, J.P. 1977. Evidence for the existence of three primary strategies in plants and its relevance to ecological and evolutionary theory. American Naturalist 111: 1169–1194. doi: 10.1086/283244

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Guerin, D.N. 1993. Oak dome clonal structure and fire ecology in a Florida longleaf pine dominated community. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 120: 107–114. doi: 10.2307/2996939

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Gurvich, D.E., L. Enrico, and A.M. Cingolani. 2005. Linking plant functional traits with post-fire sprouting vigour in woody species in central Argentina. Austral Ecology 30: 789–796. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2005.01522.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Hodgkinson, K.C. 1998. Sprouting success of shrubs after fire: height dependent relationships for different strategies. Oecologia 115: 64–72. doi: 10.1007/s004420050492

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Johnson, A.F., W.G. Abrahamson, and K.D. McCrea. 1986. Comparison of biomass recovery after fire of a seeder (Ceratiola ericoides) and a sprouter (Quercus inopina) species from south-central Florida. American Midland Naturalist 116: 423–428. doi: 10.2307/2425751

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Johnson, A.F., and W.G. Abrahamson. 2002. Stem turnover in the clonal scrub oak, Quercus inopina. American Midland Naturalist 147: 237–246. doi: 10.1674/0003-0031(2002)147[0237:STITRS]2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Keeley, J.E. 1986. Resilience of Mediterranean shrub communities to fire. Pages 92–215 in: B. Dell, A.J.M Hopkins, and B.B. Lamont, editors. Resilience in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Konstantinidis, P., G. Tsiourlis, and S. Galatsidas. 2005. Effects of wildfire season on the resprouting of kermes oak (Quercus coccifera L). Forest Ecology and Management 208: 15–27. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2004.09.021

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Knox, K.J.E., and P.J. Clarke. 2005. Nutrient availability induces contrasting allocation and starch formation in resprouting and obligate seeding shrubs. Functional Ecology 19: 690–698. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2005.01006.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Lloret, F., and L. Lopez-Soria. 1993. Resprouting of Erica multiflora after experimental fire treatments. Journal of Vegetation Science 4: 367–374. doi: 10.2307/3235595

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Lloret, F., M. Verdú, N. Flores-Hernandez, and A. Valiente-Banuet. 1999. Fire and resprouting in Mediterranean ecosystems: insights from an external biogeographical region, the Mexical shrubland. American Journal of Botany 86: 1655–1661. doi: 10.2307/2656663

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Lloret, F., D. Siscart, and C. Dalmases. 2004. Canopy recovery after drought dieback in holmoak forests of Catalonia (NE Spain). Global Change Biology 10: 2092–2099. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2004.00870.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Malanson, G.P., and L. Trabaud. 1988. Vigour of post-fire resprouting by Ouercus coccifera L. Journal of Ecology 76: 351–356. doi: 10.2307/2260598

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Matlack, G.R. 1997. Resource allocation among clonal shoots of the fire-tolerant shrub Gaylussacia baccata. Oikos 80: 509–518. doi: 10.2307/3546624

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Menges, E.S. 2007. Integrating demography and fire management: an example from Florida scrub. Australian Journal of Botany 55: 261–272. doi: 10.1071/BT06020

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Menges, E.S., W.G. Abrahamson, K.T. Givens, N.P. Gallo, and J.N. Layne. 1993. Twenty years of vegetation change in five long-unburned Florida plant communities. Journal of Vegetation Science 4: 375–386. doi: 10.2307/3235596

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Menges, E.S., and C.V. Hawkes. 1998. Interactive effects of fire and microhabitat on plants of Florida scrub. Ecological Applications 8: 935–946. doi: 10.1890/1051-0761(1998)008[0935:IEOFAM]2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Menges, E.S., and N. Kohfeldt. 1995. Life history strategies of Florida scrub plants in relation to fire. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 122: 282–297. doi: 10.2307/2996320

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Myers, R.L. 1990. Scrub and high pine. Pages 150–193 in: R.L. Myers and J.J. Ewel, editors. Ecosystems of Florida. University of Central Florida Press, Orlando, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Olano, J.M., E.S. Menges, and E. Martinez. 2006. Carbohydrate storage in five resprouting Florida scrub plants across a fire chronosequence. New Phytologist 170: 99–106. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2005.01634.x

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  40. Paula, S., and J.G. Pausas. 2008. Burning seeds: germinative response to heat treatments in relation to resprouting ability. Journal of Ecology 96: 543–552. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2008.01359.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Pausas, J.G., R.A. Bradstock, D.A. Keith, and J.E. Keeley. 2004. Plant functional traits in relation to fire in crown-fire ecosystems. Ecology 85: 1085–1100. doi: 10.1890/02-4094

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Pausas, J.G., and M. Verdú. 2005. Plant persistence traits in fire-prone ecosystems of the Mediterranean basin: a phylogenetic approach. Oikos 109: 196–202. doi: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2005.13596.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Quevedo, L., A. Rodrigo, and J.M. Espelta. 2007. Post-fire resprouting ability of 15 non-dominant shrub and tree species in Mediterranean areas of NE Spain. Annals of Forest Science 64: 883–890. doi: 10.1051/forest:2007070

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Robbins, L.E., Myers, R.L. 1992. Seasonal effects of prescribed burning in Florida: review. Tall Timbers Research Station, Miscellaneous Publication 8, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Saha, S., A. Catenazzi, and E.S. Menges. 2010. Does time since fire explain plant biomass allocation in the Florida, USA, scrub ecosystem? Fire Ecology 6(2): 13–25. doi: 10.4996/fireecology.0602013

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Schafer, J. 2010. Variation in growth ratios, aboveground biomass allocation, and allometric relationships of resprouting shrubs with time after fire. Dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Schmalzer, P.A., and C.R. Hinkle. 1992. Recovery of oak-saw palmetto scrub after fire. Castanea 57: 158–173.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Slapcinsky, J.L., D.R. Gordon, and E.S. Menges. 2010. Responses of rare plant species to fire across Florida’s fire-adapted communities. Natural Areas Journal 30: 4–19. doi: 10.3375/043.030.0102

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Takahashi, M.K., L.M. Horner, T. Kubota, N.A. Keller, and W.G. Abrahamson. 2011. Extensive clonal spread and extreme longevity in saw palmetto, a foundation clonal plant. Molecular Ecology 20: 3730–3742. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05212.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Vesk, P.A., and M. Westoby. 2004. Sprouting ability across diverse disturbances and vegetation types worldwide. Journal of Ecology 94: 310–320. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-0477.2004.00871.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Vivian, L.M., M.D. Doherty, and G.J. Cary. 2010. Classifying the fire-response traits of plants: how reliable are species-level classifications? Austral Ecology 35: 264–273. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2009.02032.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Weekley, C.W., and E.S. Menges. 2003. Species and vegetation responses to prescribed fire in a long-unburned, endemic-rich Lake Wales Ridge scrub. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 130: 265–282. doi: 10.2307/3557545

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Weekley, C.W., H.L. Lindon, and E.S. Menges. 2006. Archbold Biological Station Plant List. Archbold Biological Station, Venus, Florida, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Weekley, C.W., E.S. Menges, and R.L. Pickert. 2008. An ecological map of Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge: a new boundary delineation and an assessment of post-Columbian habitat loss. Florida Scientist 71: 45–64.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We appreciate funding from the National Science Foundation (DEB0812717). We would like to thank C. Weekley, A. Stathos, T. Miller, S. Haller, and S. Smith for assistance in the field and with data analyses.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andrea J. Maguire.

Rights and permissions

Open Access  This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Maguire, A.J., Menges, E.S. Post-Fire Growth Strategies of Resprouting Florida Scrub Vegetation. fire ecol 7, 12–25 (2011). https://doi.org/10.4996/fireecology.0703012

Download citation

Keywords

  • ericaceous shrubs
  • fire
  • Florida scrub
  • life history strategies
  • oaks
  • palmettos
  • resprouter