A palaeoecological attempt to classify fire sensitivity of trees in the southern Alps

Tinner, Willy; Conedera, M.; Gobet, Erika; Hubschmid, P.; Wehrli, Michael; Ammann, Brigitta (2000). A palaeoecological attempt to classify fire sensitivity of trees in the southern Alps. Holocene, 10(5), pp. 565-574. Sage 10.1191/095968300674242447

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Using pollen percentages and charcoal influx to reconstruct the Holocene vegetation and fire history, we differentiate six possible responses of plants to fire of medium and high frequency: fire-intolerant, fire damaged, fire-sensitive, fire-indifferent, fire-enhanced and fire-adapted. The fire sensitivity of 17 pollen types, representing 20 woody species in the southern Alps, is validated by comparison with today's ecological studies of plant chronosequences. A surprising coincidence of species reaction to fire of medium frequency is character istic for completely different vegetation types, such as woodlands dominated byAbies alba (7000 years ago) andCastanea sativa (today). The temporal persistence of post-fire behaviour of plant taxa up to thousands of years suggests a generally valid species-related fire sensitivity that may be influenced only in part by changing external conditions. A non-analogous behaviour of woody taxa after fire is documented for high fire frequencies. Divergent behaviour patterns of plant taxa in response to medium and high fire frequencies (e.g., increases and decreases ofAlnus glutinosa) also indicate that post-fire plant reactions may change with increasing fire fre quency.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Tinner, Willy; Gobet, Erika; Wehrli, Michael and Ammann, Brigitta

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0959-6836

Publisher:

Sage

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

12 Feb 2016 13:55

Last Modified:

20 May 2016 13:05

Publisher DOI:

10.1191/095968300674242447

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Charcoal analysis, pollen analysis, long-term fire ecology, post-fire vegetation dynamics, southern Alps

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.75943

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/75943

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