Publication Details

Penman, T. D., Binns, D., Allen, R., Shiels, R. & Plummer, S. (2008). Germination responses of a dry sclerophyll forest soil-stored seedbank to fire related cues. Cunninghamia, 10 (4), 547-555.


Fire is an integral component of many ecosystems worldwide. Many plant species require fire-related cues, primarily heat and smoke, to trigger germination. Despite the importance of this process, the responses of many Australian species to these cues are unknown. Without this knowledge fire management strategies may be developed that are inappropriate for individual species and vegetation communities. In this study we examined the responses of a dry sclerophyll forest seed bank to heat and smoke germination cues. Analysis was possible for 48 taxa within the soil seedbank with 34 of these showing a response to one or both of the germination cues. 10 species responded to the heat treatment, 11 species responded to the smoke treatment and 13 species responded to both the heat and smoke treatments. Germination cues acted independently for all species considered. Results in this study were consistent with published reports for most species, although some differences were seen at the species and genus level. The study highlights the importance of fire-related cues in enhancing germination of a large proportion of the species occurring in dry sclerophyll forests.