Component analysis of fire patterns in open eucalypt forest



    1. Department of Botany, Monash University, Clayton, Australia, 3168
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      Department of Botany, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1W5, Canada.


The understorey vegetation of nine localities with different fire histories from open eucalypt forest near Melbourne, Victoria, was analysed by principal component analysis. Floristically, localities were quite similar; however, structural differences caused mainly by different burning regimes of recent years were more evident. An analysis of presence-absence data displayed a marked discontinuity that was explainable in terms of the timing and intensity of a recent fire. Using unstandardized height data the pattern was related to inter- and intra-locality differences in time since the last fires. An analysis of standardized height data demonstrated a connection between understorey structure and fire frequency. Despite apparent differences in the scatter diagrams obtained a statistical comparison of the analytical results indicated that, in many respects, the ordinations were similar