Fire, extreme weather, and plant diversity

A 44-year-long study of vegetation plots in the fire-prone Fynbos of South Africa finds that an increase in the duration of dry, hot spells in the first summer after a fire—as well as a legacy of plant invasions—contributed to a decline in species diversity, particularly species that sprout after fire; in contrast, species unique to each survey area showed a 0.5°C increase in maximum temperature tolerance, suggesting that interactions between fire and extreme weather events may make vulnerable ecosystems particularly sensitive to climate change. - Read at PNAS

Article #16-19014: “Intensifying postfire weather and biological invasion drive species loss in a Mediterranean-type biodiversity hotspot,” by Jasper A. Slingsby et al.