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Regeneration of Juvenile Woody Plants after Fire in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest of Southern India

Mondal, Nandita and Sukumar, Raman (2015) Regeneration of Juvenile Woody Plants after Fire in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest of Southern India. In: BIOTROPICA, 47 (3). pp. 330-338.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1111/btp.12219


Woody tree species in seasonally dry tropical forests are known to have traits that help them to recover from recurring disturbances such as fire. Two such traits are resprouting and rapid post-fire growth. We compared survival and growth rates of regenerating small-sized individuals (juveniles) of woody tree species after dry season fire (February-March) at eight adjacent pairs of burnt and unburnt transects in a seasonally dry tropical forest in southern India. Juveniles were monitored at 3-mo intervals between August 2009 and August 2010. High juvenile survivorship (>95%) was observed in both burnt and unburnt areas. Growth rates of juveniles, analyzed at the community level as well as for a few species individually (especially fast-growing ones), were distinctly higher in burnt areas compared to unburnt areas after a fire event, particularly during the pre-monsoon season immediately after a fire. Rapid growth by juveniles soon after a fire may be due to lowered competition from other vegetative forms such as grasses, possibly aided by the availability of resources stored belowground. Such an adaptation would allow a juvenile bank to be retained in the understory of a dry forest, from where individuals can grow to a possible fire-tolerant size during favorable conditions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: BIOTROPICA
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the WILEY-BLACKWELL, 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA
Keywords: fire ecology; Mudumalai; relative growth rate; seasonal growth; woody tree species
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2015 11:44
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2015 11:44
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/51645

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