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 Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Epicormic resprouting in fire-prone ecosystems|
|Series title||Trends in Plant Science|
|Contributing office(s)||Western Ecological Research Center|