P. Cirne et Fr. Scarano, Resprouting and growth dynamics after fire of the clonal shrub Andira legalis (Leguminosae) in a sandy coastal plain in south-eastern Brazil, J ECOLOGY, 89(3), 2001, pp. 351-357
1 Survival, resprouting and growth dynamics of the clonal shrub Andira lega
lis were studied for 2 years after fire, on a sandy spit on the coastal pla
in of Brazil. We examined the importance of resprouting for post-fire persi
stence, the relationship between resprouting patterns and injury suffered a
nd size of individuals, and whether ramet growth was determined by competit
ion and self-thinning.
2 Post-fire resprouting was responsible for production of new ramets and le
d to an increase in the mean number of ramets per A. legalis individual.
3 There was a negative association between resprouting from overground vs.
underground. Highly injured individuals showed a significant tendency to sp
rout new ramets from underground organs whereas less damaged plants produce
d new branches and leaves from stem buds. Ramet production was related to a
n individual's prefire size (basal area), but to a lesser extent than to in
4 Immediately after fire, the G(t,x) function (mean of absolute growth rate
s of shoots of size x at time f) was size-independent, suggesting an absenc
e of competition. G(t,x) then became size-dependent, while D(t,x) (variance
of absolute growth rates of shoots of size x at time t) remained size-inde
pendent, indicating that any competition between ramets was symmetric.
5 Size-dependent mortality and a negative linear relationship between mean
ramet size and density indicated self-thinning. However, the low ramet mort
ality (7.7%) and the absence of size hierarchies (coefficients of variation
remained constant) suggest that competition and self-thinning were not int