, Volume 85, Issue 3, pp 429-433

Fire intensity and herbivory effects on postfire resprouting of Adenostoma fasciculatum in southern California chaparral

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Summary

Resprouting is the main regeneration mechanism after fire in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. Herbivores play an important role in controlling postfire seedling establishment, but their influence on regeneration by resprouting is less well known. To study the effects of fire intensity on resprouting of Adenostoma fasciculatum in southern California chaparral, and its interaction with herbivory, we conducted an experimental burn at three levels of fire intensity. We found that increasing fire intensity increased plant mortality, reduced the number of resprouts per plant, and delayed the time of resprouting. Herbivory increased with fire intensity, and was related to the time of resprouting. Plants resprouting later in the season and out of synchrony with the main flush were attacked more readily by herbivores. Post-resprouting mortality also increased with fire intensity and was significantly associated with herbivory in the higher fire intensity plots. Fire intensity effects on chaparral regeneration by resprouting may be farreaching through effects on the population structure, resprout production, and growth of Adenostoma fasciculatum.