Post-fire regeneration strategies of Californian coastal sage shrubs
Regeneration methods for coastal sage srub vegetation after fire were studied in the coastal Santa Monica Mountains of southern California. Six sites were sampled two years after a large fire of fall, 1978. The intensity of fire varied. Foliar cover and flowering incidence were recorded for individuals regenerating by resprouting or from seed. Resprouting plants contributed most to post-fire recovery, comprising 95% of the relative foliar shrub cover; 84% of resprout and 47% of seedling cover had flowered. An ANOVA of reproductive mode and fire intensity indicates that resprout total cover and individual size are significantly greater than those of seedlings, regardless of fire intensity. Among sites the average foliar cover of resprouts exceeded that of seedlings by factors ranging from 9 to 63. All coastal sage species examined resprout, although the potential vigor of resprouting appears to vary widely within genera (e.g. Encelia, Eriogonum, and Salvia) and even within species. In the second growing season following fire seedling density increased due to seeds shed by resprouted shrubs. Most of the cover on these stands of coastal sage scrub is destined to be either crown-sprouted individuals or their progeny.
Published Article/Book Citation
Oecologia, 53:3 (1982) pp.355-358.