Fire-survival strategy - a character of taxonomic, ecological and evolutionary importance in fynbos legumes

A. L. Schutte, J. H.J. Vlok, B. E. Van Wyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Variation in the fire-survival strategy of the fynbos, legume tribes Podalyrieae and Liparieae was studied, since it is often the only conspicuous difference between morphologically similar taxa. Two main strategies are apparent: sprouters, taxa which are able to sprout from a woody rootstock after fire and non-sprouters, those which only recruit from seed after fire. In fynbos legumes sprouting and non-sprouting taxa differ in their habitat specificity, population densities, relative regional abundance, and in seed germination tempo. Speciation patterns, as inferred from an analysis of the geographical distribution and habitat specificity of the species, are discussed. Problems relating to the use of sprouting versus non-sprouting as a taxonomic character in fynbos legumes are addressed and possible solutions are given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-259
Number of pages17
JournalPlant Systematics and Evolution
Volume195
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1995

Keywords

  • Cape fynbos
  • Fabaceae
  • Liparieae
  • Podalyrieae
  • ecology
  • fire
  • growth form
  • speciation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science

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