Population viability analysis and fire return intervals for an endemic Florida scrub mint
Abbreviated Journal Title
Dicerandra frutescens; optimal fire frequency; finite rate of increase; stochastic demographic modeling; regular versus stochastic fire regimes; CANOPY SEED STORAGE; ECOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE; DICERANDRA-FRUTESCENS; PRONE ENVIRONMENTS; MATRIX MODEL; WOODY-PLANTS; CONSERVATION; MANAGEMENT; AUSTRALIA; HABITAT; Biodiversity Conservation; Ecology; Environmental Sciences
We use population viability analysis of an endangered Florida scrub mint, Dicerandra frutescens, to specify the optimal fire return intervals for its long-term persistence and for its specific habitat. We derived 83 population projection matrices from 13 years of demographic data from eight populations, 59 matrices from scrub populations and 24 from firelane or yard edges. Seed dormancy and germination transitions were inferred based on experimental data and verified by comparing modeled vs. observed population trajectories. Finite rates of increase in scrub sites were highest shortly after fire and declined steeply through 10 years postfire. The break-even value of lambda = 1 was passed quickly, in about six years, suggesting that populations > 6 years postfire were already facing decline. The decline is probably related to the rapid growth of competing shrubs in the habitat of D. frutescens. In long-unburned sites, finite rates of increase were nearly always < 1 and declined the most in the long-unburned site with no foot trails or treefall gaps. Finite rates of increase in firelane populations also declined with years since fire or last disking. The yard edge population showed values both > 1 and < 1, with no temporal trend. Stochastic simulations in scrub sites suggested an optimal regular fire return interval of about 6-12 years. Regular fires at this interval were more favorable than stochastic fire regimes, but stochasticity reduced extinction percentages at longer fire return intervals. Stochastic fire return intervals implied a wider optimal fire return interval of 6-21 years. We suggest that prescribed fire in Florida scrub on yellow sand has occurred (and needs to occur) more frequently than previously recommended. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
"Population viability analysis and fire return intervals for an endemic Florida scrub mint" (2006). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 6431.