Epicormic resprouting in fire-prone ecosystems

Trends in Plant Science
By:  and 



Many plants resprout from basal buds after disturbance, and this is common in shrublands subjected to high-intensity fires. However, resprouting after fire from epicormic (stem) buds is globally far less common. Unlike basal resprouting, post-fire epicormic resprouting is a key plant adaptation for retention of the arborescent skeleton after fire, allowing rapid recovery of the forest or woodland and leading to greater ecosystem resilience under recurrent high-intensity fires. Here we review the biogeography of epicormic resprouting, the mechanisms of protection, the fire regimes where it occurs, and the evolutionary drivers that shaped this trait. We propose that epicormic resprouting is adaptive in ecosystems with high fire frequency and relatively high productivity, at moderate–high fire intensities.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Epicormic resprouting in fire-prone ecosystems
Series title Trends in Plant Science
DOI 10.1016/j.tplants.2017.08.010
Volume 22
Issue 12
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Cell Press
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 8 p.
First page 1008
Last page 1015