, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 127–131

Continuous basal sprouting from a lignotuber:Arbutus unedo L. andErica arborea L., as woody Mediterranean examples

  • François Mesléard
  • Jacques Lepart
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00789941

Cite this article as:
Mesléard, F. & Lepart, J. Oecologia (1989) 80: 127. doi:10.1007/BF00789941


The two dominant species of the Corsican mattoral,Arbutus unedo L. andErica arborea L., can produce abundant sprouts from the lignotuber not only immediately after fire but also more or less continuously in the absence of major disturbance. The lignotuber appears to be more important during the early stages of development; the result is an increase in the number of sprouts during the 25 years following the establishment of the individuals. Later the lignotuber seems to lose the ability to ensure the development of new basal sprouts. A hypothesis is that the presence of a lignotuber is related to the growth form.Arbutus unedo andErica arborea show behaviour intermediate between acrotony and basitony, as the shoots show acrotony, and continuous sprouting is characteristic of basitonic species. The fact that sprouting from the lignotuber is not necessarily a result of fire suggests that the relation between fire and vegetation in the Mediterranean region should be reconsidered.

Key words

Lignotuber Basal sprouting Erica arborea Arbutus unedo Disturbance Corsica 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • François Mesléard
    • 1
  • Jacques Lepart
    • 1
  1. 1.CNRS/CEPE L. EmbergerMontpellier cedexFrance
  2. 2.Station biologique de la Tour du ValatArlesFrance

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