Influence of fire frequency and resource gradients on the structure and composition of the jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata Donn ex Sm.) forest of southwest Australia

Burak Pekin

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    385 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    [Truncated abstract] The structure and composition of plant communities is largely dependent on resource availability. However, fires also strongly influence forest structure and composition (i.e., relative biomass, cover and abundance) by directly impacting mortality and regeneration rates of different plant species or by altering the availability of resources. Australian vegetation communities are highly resilient to fire and generally recover their pre-fire composition and structure relatively quickly. However, the relative abundance and biomass of individual species or the relative diversity of different species assemblages in the community may be altered by the impacts of repeated fires on species dominance and resource availability. This thesis investigates the impacts of variable fire frequencies and resource gradients (in terms of soil nutrients and aridity) on (i) the abundance and biomass of dominant tree species, (ii) overall species and life form diversity, and (iii) the relative abundance of functional plant species assemblages in the jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata Donn ex Sm.) forest of southwest Australia. Sixteen sites with variable fire histories were selected within a specific jarrah dominated landscape unit (Collis) in the Warren Region of southwest Australia. The Collis vegetation complex is composed of only two tree species in the overstorey, jarrah and marri (Corymbia calophylla (Lindl.) K.D.Hill & L.A.S.Johnson), with a diverse sclerophyllous shrub layer in the understorey. Sites were characterised for a range of environmental and biological variables. Relationships between density, basal area, biomass and sapwood area of jarrah and marri, as well as the total leaf area of the stands with aridity (i.e., potential evapotranspiration divided by annual precipitation) and fire frequency were analysed using multiple regression analyses. The abundance of all plant species was estimated and species richness, species evenness and life form evenne
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2010

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of fire frequency and resource gradients on the structure and composition of the jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata Donn ex Sm.) forest of southwest Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this