The role of fire in germinating Wild Rice (Oryza meridionalis), an annual grass of northern Australian wetlands threatened by exotic grass invasion

Williams, Paul R., Collins, Eleanor M., Grice, A.C., Nicholas, D. Mike, and Perry, Justin J. (2011) The role of fire in germinating Wild Rice (Oryza meridionalis), an annual grass of northern Australian wetlands threatened by exotic grass invasion. Ecological Management and Restoration, 12 (1). pp. 74-76.

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Abstract

Para Grass (Urochloa mutica (Forssk.) Nguyen) has invaded large areas of north Australian wetlands, out-competing native flora. Post-fire observations indicated that the native grass, Wild Rice (Oryza meridionalis Ng), re-established where gaps in Para grass mats had been created by burning. We tested whether it was fire itself or simply the removal of Para Grass that promoted Wild Rice, by subjecting comparable buried seed batches to one of three treatments:fire (at two intensities) and no fire. Subsequent germination tests confirmed current laboratory research that suggests post-fire promotion of Wild Rice is not a function of fire per se (neither heat or smoke) but is likely to be due to the removal of the smothering grass layer, even though fire is a efficient way of removing Para Grass.

Item ID: 16947
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: fire, germination, Oryza meridionalis, para grass, wetlands
ISSN: 1442-8903
Date Deposited: 15 May 2011 05:01
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9612 Rehabilitation of Degraded Environments > 961204 Rehabilitation of Degraded Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 100%
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