Burning season effects on the short-term post-fire vegetation dynamics of a Mediterranean heathland
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Allow shrubland to regenerate without active managementAction Link
Allow shrubland to regenerate without active management
A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after trial between 2002 and 2006 in a shrubland in Central Portugal (Cespedes et al. 2014) found that allowing shrubland to recover from fire without any active restoration increased the cover of woody species after four years but not to pre-fire levels. Four years after fire, cover of woody plant species was higher (70%) than one year after fire (47%) but not as high as before fire occurred (98%). The cover of perennial herb species was higher four years after fire (9%) than one year after fire (5%), both of which were higher than pre-fire levels (1%). Four years after fire the cover of bracken Pteridium aquilinum was higher (2%) than pre-fire levels (0%). Twelve 0.2 hectare plots were established in the shrubland, eight of which were subsequently burned and four of which were left unburned. Vegetation cover was estimated using twenty 1 m2 quadrats which were surveyed before burning and annually for four years afterwards.