The use of vital attributes to predict successional changes in plant communities subject to recurrent disturbances
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): I. R. Noble; R. O. Slatyer
Publication Year: 1980

Cataloging Information

  • Acacia spp.
  • Australia
  • disturbance
  • disturbance
  • dynamics
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • eucalyptus
  • fire frequency
  • fire resistant plants
  • forest management
  • histories
  • Nothofagus
  • overstory
  • plant communities
  • post fire recovery
  • regeneration
  • resprouting
  • sclerophyll forests
  • seed dormancy
  • statistical analysis
  • succession
  • succession
  • vegetation
  • vegetation surveys
  • wildfires
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 44973
Tall Timbers Record Number: 20419
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


From the Summary ... A comprehensive scheme is presented which provides qualitative models of vegetation dynamics in communities subject to recurrent disturbance. The scheme has been derived to deal mainly with terrestrial communities dominated by higher plants, but may be more widely applicable. The scheme utilizes a small number of life history attributes termed vital attributes which pertain to the potentially dominant species in a particular community. Three main groups of vital attributes are recognized, relating to the method of persistence of species during a disturbance and to their subsequent arrival, to their ability to establish and grow to maturity following the disturbance, and to the time taken for them to reach critical stages in their life history. In the application of the scheme, each major species is first categorized into a species type, determined by its specific attributes in the first two vital attribute groups. The interaction between various species, based on their species types and life stage attributes, then yields a replacement sequence which depicts the major shifts in composition and dominance which occur following a disturbance. Although 30 species types are recognized, only 15 distinct patterns of behaviour are displayed in replacement sequences. Examples of replacement sequences for two different forest communities are provided. The degree to which vital attributes are robust properties of a species is explored in relation to different disturbance frequencies and intensities, and to the seasonal time of disturbance. © Springer 1980.

Noble, I. R., and R. O. Slatyer. 1980. The use of vital attributes to predict successional changes in plant communities subject to recurrent disturbances. Vegetatio, v. 43, no. 1-2, p. 5-21. 10.1007/.