• Demography;
  • Fire;
  • Fynbos;
  • Kwongan;
  • Population model;
  • Recruitment

Abstract. Neither conventional niche theory nor current lottery models offer a satisfactory theoretical scope for modelling coexistence of species with disjoint generations. South-African fynbos and Australian kwongan include many species which are killed by, and recruit only after, fire. We propose a density-dependent lottery model which accommodates the unusual demographics of these species. We show that coexistence requires density dependence in recruitment. The result applies to a wider class of populations than the one considered here. It is applied to non-resprouting species in fynbos and kwongan. We show that the lottery assumption of recruitment in proportion to propagules is often satisfied, while the production of such propagules is often density-dependent, and we discuss some evidence of mechanisms whereby this may occur.