Article Title

Comparative Photosynthesis, Water Relations, and Nutrient Status of Burned, Unburned, and Clipped Rhus laurina after Chaparral Wildfire





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We compared photosynthesis, water relations, and leaf nitrogen con- tents among burned, clipped, and mature shrubs of Rhus laurina after a wildfire in the Santa Monica Mountains of southern California. Within the first year after fire, photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and nitrogen contents for individual leaves were elevated for burned and clipped plants as compared to mature shrubs. Except for foliar nitrogen contents, these differences disappeared within 14 months after fire. Within 1 7 months after fire, resprouts of burned and clipped shrubs had a total leaf area and total leaf nitrogen content about twice that of mature plants. These results indicate that during the first year after fire, enhanced pho- tosynthetic performance of individual leaves contributes to the rapid recovery of shoot tissue— in succeeding years, enhanced total leaf area and total canopy pho- tosynthesis continue the recovery process.