, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 493–499

Comparative genet survival after fire in woody Mediterranean species

  • Luis López-Soria
  • Carles Castell
Original Papers


Using data from three fires in northeastern Spain, we tested a condition necessary to support the idea that fire has been a factor in the evolution of the resprouting habit: populations of all resprouting species within a community should show high levels of genet survival after fires and show a low coefficient of variation. Species with high mean survival values were:Quercus ilex L.,Phillyrea latifolia L., andViburnum tinus L., with 88, 86 and 83% survival respectively; these groups had resprouts emerging from rootcrowns. Then followedArbutus unedo L. (75%),Pistacia lentiscus L. (73%),Erica arborea L. (77%),Erica multiflora L. (57%) andJuniperus oxycedrus L. (55%). This last group had resprouts from lignotubers or burls. These two groups also differed in the variability around the mean: the first showed a lower coefficient of variation, 6–12, and the second ranged from 19 to 26. Slope exposure had no significant influence on the process of resprouting, but soil depth did, with precipitation as a covariate. In the shallow soil category, the difference in genet survival between southern and northern exposures was 14% (71% vs. 57%); while the difference in the deep soil category was low, 5% (87% vs. 82%). There was no significant interaction. The component of variance for soils was larger than that for species-specific effects; substantial overlap of the within-species variance indicated that species responded as if they were a single hypothetical population, in which most of the variation in chances of survival was due to the soil conditions. The possession of the resprouting habit did not ensure a high performance. Hence, we find weak support for fire as a factor in the evolution of the resprouting habit.

Key words

Regenerative types Fire-adapted trait Resilience Evolutionary convergence Mediterranean climate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis López-Soria
    • 1
  • Carles Castell
    • 2
  1. 1.Department de Biologia Animal, de Biologia Vegetal i d'EcologiaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals, Facultat de CiènciesUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra BarcelonaSpain

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