Introduced and native grass-derived smoke effects on Cymbopogon obtectus germination
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): P. R. Williams; E. M. Collins; Mick Blackman; Clare Blackman; J. Mcleod; L. Felderhof; L. Colless; K. Masters; S. Coates
Publication Year: 2014

Cataloging Information

  • Australia
  • buffel grass
  • Cenchrus ciliaris
  • Cymbopogon obtectus
  • fire management
  • grasses
  • grasslands
  • introduced species
  • Lemon Grass
  • native species (plants)
  • range management
  • smoke effects
  • smoke management
  • spinifex grass
  • Triodia brizoides
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 29, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 54052
Tall Timbers Record Number: 31650
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Available
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


Introduced grasses, such as buffel, alter the dynamics of grassy ecosystems by replacing native species and influencing recruitment. Several different smoke-derived chemicals are separately responsible for the promotion and inhibition of germination of various plant species. We tested whether smoke derived from the introduced buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) produced the same density of germination as provided by smoke derived from a native spinifex grass (Triodia brizoides). Smoke from both spinifex and buffel grass significantly enhanced the germination of a native lemon grass (Cymbopogon obtectus) in comparison to untreated seed, reflecting the significant role of fire in woodlands across northern Australia. This is the first record of smoke-promoted germination in a species of Cymbopogon. However, smoke from the exotic buffel grass provided the same level of germination as that from the native spinifex, suggesting similarity in smoke chemicals involved. Further research is required to test the effect of buffel smoke on the germination of other species and whether exotics such as buffel grass provide the same temperature profile in the topsoil as does spinifex, and therefore equivalent germination cues to heat-shock responsive native plants. Journal compilation © CSIRO 2014.

Williams, P. R., E. M. Collins, M. Blackman, C. Blackman, J. Mcleod, L. Felderhof, L. Colless, K. Masters, and S. Coates. 2014. Introduced and native grass-derived smoke effects on Cymbopogon obtectus germination. Australian Journal of Botany, v. 62, no. 6, p. 465-468. 10.1071/BT14227.