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Posts Tagged ‘postfire-flowering’

Postfire flowering: Gladiolus illyricus

April 4th, 2017 2 comments

On the 4th of Sep 2016, a wildfire burnt 800 ha in Xàbia, north of Alacant (Marina Alta, eastern Spain). About 7 months later (March 2017), Gladiolus illyricus shows a spectacular blooming:

 

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Gladiolus illyricus. Photos by: Toni Bolufer (top), Juli G Pausas (bottom)

For more examples of postfire flowering, see: jgpausas.blogs.uv.es/tag/postfire-flowering/

Postfire flowering: Lapiedra martinezii

October 8th, 2016 No comments

Lapiadra martinezzi
Lapiadra martinezzi (Amaryllidaceae) flowering after fire in eastern Spain. This is also an example of an hysteranthous geophyte (flowering before appearing the leaves).

Upper left: From La Granadella (Benitatxell, La Marina Alta, Alicante), one month after a high intensity wildfire that occurred the 5 Sept 2016.
All others: in a Pinus halepensis open woodland that was burned (at low intensity) in April 2016 (for firefighting training) near Valencia; photo taken the 29th Sept 2016. There were many individuals (hundreds to thousands) flowering and some with fruits. We did not find any flower in the surrounding unburned area.

For other species with fire-stimulated flowering, see: jgpausas.blogs.uv.es/tag/postfire-flowering/

 

Postfire resprouting of Chamaerops humilis

March 18th, 2016 No comments

“A few, but only a few species of palms, are, like our Coniferae, Quercineae, and Betulineae, social plants : such are the Mauritia flexuosa, and two species of Chamaerops, one of which, the Chamaerops humilis, occupies extensive tracts of the ground near the Mouth of Ebro and in Valencia …” — Alexander von Humboldt (1848)

Chamaerops humilis (Mediterranean dwarf palm) is the only native palm in continental Europe, and the northernmost naturally occurring palm in the world. It is native to the western Mediterranean Basin, occurring along the Mediterranean cost of Spain (as mentioned by Humboldt), Portugal, France, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The other palm occurring in the Mediterranean Basin is Phoenix theophrasti, a rare palm growing in the Crete island and in the southern Turkey [MedTrees].

Humboldt probably did not know that Chamaerops humilis resprouts very quick after fire (at that time fire was not considered as part of the natural processes). The resprouting of this species does not necessary come from new dormant buds (as in most typical resprouters) but from the normal apical buds protected from the fire by the leaf bases in the stem. In fact, buds generate leaves that have the upper part affected by the fire, but not the lower part (as in all monocots, the meristem is at the base of the leaves, and thus more protected from the heat of the fire). Consequently the first leaves often show the typical burned-brown-green pattern of the photo below. In addition, it can generate basal suckers from an underground rhizome. C. humilis often flowers very quickly after fire, together with the first leaves (upper photo). Overall it is very resilient to recurrent fires.

Chamaerops-humilis
Chamaerops humilis (one of the few ‘social palms’ following Humboldt) 2-3 months postfire in the Valencia region (eastern Spain; photos: JG Pausas)

References

Humboldt, A. von (1848). Aspects of nature (original title: Ansichten der Natur, 3rd ed).

 

Postfire flowering: Narcissus

May 2nd, 2015 No comments

Spectacular postfire flowering of Narcissus triandrus subsp. pallidulus in a recently burnt Erica australis heathland (Bustares, Guadalajara, Spain, April 2015).

Narcissus postfire

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Postfire blooming of Asphodelous

April 5th, 2014 No comments

The 4th of February, 2014, a forest fire burnt ca. 200 ha in Segorbe, near Valencia, eastern Spain. Two months later (1st April 2014), few plants had started to resprout, others had started to germinate, but there were three species that had resprouted very quickly and were already flowering: Asphodelous cerasiferus (= A. ramosus; Spanish: gamón), Iris lutescens, and Asparagus horridus; the first showed an spectacular blooming (pictures below).

Asphodelus-bloom
Spectacular postfire bloom of Asphodelous cerasiferus in Segorbe, near Valencia, Spain (photos by MC Castellanos & JG Pausas, two months after fire).

Fire-stimulated flowering

May 25th, 2013 No comments

Some plant species flower profusely and quickly after fire (fire-stimulated flowering). Compared with resprouting or postfire seeding, this trait is relatively unknown outside of South Africa and Australia [1, 2]. It is considered one of the adaptations of some resprouting species to live in recurrently burn environments. There are some of these species that rarely flower without a fire (obligate postfire flowering) while others can flower in the absence of fire but they produce more flowers after it (facultative postfire flowering). One example I had the chance to observe recently in Central America is Bulbostylis paradoxa (Cyperaceae; Figure below); it is a very flammable plant that grow in savannas and dry forest of Central/South America and the Caribbean. Local foresters told me that they have never seen this species flowering in absence of fire, and that they start flowering next day after the fire.


Figure: Bulbostylis paradoxa (Cyperaceae) one month after a fire in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica (fotos: J.G. Pausas, May 2013).

References:
[1] Bytebier B., Antonelli A., Bellstedt D.U., Linder H. P. 2011. Estimating the age of fire in the Cape flora of South Africa from an orchid phylogeny. Proc. R. Soc. B, 278: 188-195.

[2] Lamont B.B., Downes K.S. 2011. Fire-stimulated flowering among resprouters and geophytes in Australia and South Africa. Plant Ecol. 212: 2111-2125.

 

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