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Regeneration models and plant regenerative types related to the intensity of fire in Atlantic shrubland and woodland species

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Abstract:

Question: Is it possible to model the germinative and resprouting behaviour of plant species in Atlantic shrublands and woodlands in relation to fire intensity? Is it possible to recognise different functional regenerative types in these plant species?

Location: Galicia, NW Iberian Peninsula.

Methods: We explored the patterns of germination and resprouting plant responses in relation to different intensities of fire using data from 37 trees, shrubs and herbaceous species growing in Atlantic shrublands and woodlands.

Results: Synthesizing their germinative and resprouting behaviour, we created two graphical models: the Functional Germinative Model (FGM) and the Functional Sprouting Model (FSM). Integrating the germinative and resprouting responses, and taking into account fire intensity, we created the Functional Regenerative Model (FRM), which predicts the post-fire recuperation of the populations of each species. The FRM has been validated with data from four Atlantic communities. We identified four plant functional regenerative types (PFRT) for Atlantic forest vegetation and we propose three intensities of response.

Conclusions: The extracted models (FGM, FSM and FRM) and the grouping of species in four PFRTs could be applicable to more Atlantic species, to disturbance ecology in general and to population, community and landscape management.
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