|Abstract||† Background and Aims Resprouting and seed recruitment are important ways in which plants respond to fire.
However, the investments a plant makes into ensuring the success of post-fire resprouting or seedling recruitment
can result in trade-offs that are manifested in a range of co-occurring morphological, life history and physiological
traits. Relationships between fire-response strategies and other traits have been widely examined in fire-prone
Mediterranean-type climates. In this paper, we aim to determine whether shrubs growing in a non-Mediterranean
climate region exhibit relationships between their fire-response strategy and leaf traits.
† Methods Field surveys were used to classify species into fire-response types. We then compared specific leaf
area, leaf dry-matter content, leaf width, leaf nitrogen and carbon to nitrogen ratios between (a) obligate
seeders and all other resprouters, and (b) obligate seeders, facultative resprouters and obligate resprouters.
† Key Results Leaf traits only varied between fire-response types when we considered facultative resprouters as a
separate group to obligate resprouters, as observed after a large landscape-scale fire. We found no differences
between obligate seeders and obligate resprouters, nor between obligate seeders and resprouters considered as
†Conclusions The results suggest that facultative resprouters may require a strategy of rapid resource acquisition
and fast growth in order to compete with species that either resprout, or recruit from seed. However, the overall
lack of difference between obligate seeders and obligate resprouters suggests that environmental factors are exerting
similar effects on species’ ecological strategies, irrespective of the constraints and trade-offs that may be
associated with obligate seeding and obligate resprouting. These results highlight the limits to trait co-occurrences
across different ecosystems and the difficulty in identifying global-scale relationships amongst traits. |