Heat, Smoke and Ash Effects on Soil Seed Bank Germination in the Semi-Steppe Rangelands of Central Zagros, Iran
This study aimed to investigate the effects of the fire products treatments (heat, smoke and ash) on the density, species diversity, growth form and the life form of the soil seed bank in the semi-steppe rangelands of the Karsanak region in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province. For this purpose, soil samples were collected from the studied region and fire products treatments were applied to them. Five treatments, including two treatments of heat shock (60 and 80 °C), one treatment of ash (30 minutes) and control (without any treatment), were tested. Totally, seeds of 21 species from 15 plant families of the soil seed bank samples cultured in greenhouse, were germinated. The results showed that the heat treatment at 80 °C with an average seedling number of 706 per m2 had the highest density in comparison with the control. Also, ash significantly increased the diversity and richness of the cultured samples. Most of the fire products treatments increased the share of the annual vegetative form (annual forb and annual grass). According to the results, it can be concluded that fire products effects on plant species are very important in recognizing and analyzing the responses of species in the irritability of the germinating seeds. Also, based on this information, we can predict the changes in the vegetation after the fire, which can be used in the management of natural ecosystems.