Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Biological Sciences


Predicting species response to future climatic change is a key focus of current plant ecology literature. In fire-prone ecosystems detailed case studies addressing how climatic warming will alter reproduction and recruitment dynamics in obligate seeding species are lacking, despite the importance of this plant group. I aim to address this knowledge gap, focusing on Acacia suaveolens, an obligate seeding species with physical seed dormancy (PY). In obligate seeders, fire kills the parental generation and triggers dormancy release in seeds from a seed bank. Population persistence therefore depends on successful recruitment post-fire. I used a ‘space-for-time’ (SFT) approach, where relationships between traits and climatic changes over geographic gradients (one altitudinal and one latitudinal) are identified and used to predict responses to future climates. By using four different experimental approaches, I also tested the assumptions of the SFT method.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.