Project: Ecosystem Interaction | Future Fires

Interactions between fire regimes, climate and other environmental gradients shape plant diversity in heathland communities

Fire is a key driver of plant diversity globally. Heathlands are fire-prone and species-rich. Many species demonstrate fire adaptations such as post-fire resprouting, fire-stimulated germination, and fire-stimulated seed release. However, changes in fire frequency and severity can cause plant population declines. Therefore, this project aims to quantify plant diversity under variations in fire regimes, climate and other environmental contexts. This project combines quantifications of the extant vegetation with soil and canopy seedbank studies, across fire interval, fire severity, and environmental gradients. The knowledge acquired in this work will assist land managers by identifying the range of fire regimes that protect plant diversity in heathlands.

Project timeline: 02/2020 – 12/2023

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