Flowering in Merxmuellera disticha was more strongly stimulated by fire in summer. Flowering tillers produced between 9 and 11 months after fire were significantly more abundant than those produced 21 to 24 months thereafter. Growth in terms of size of individuals was considered insignificant for analysis. NeighboredHyparrhenia hirta showed, to a certain degree, an out-of-season growth, production and reproduction, whilstM. disticha and Themeda triandra on the same plots did not. The xylem water potential of H. hirta[-10.9(±0.29)], M. disticha [-14.6(±0.80)] and T. triandra [-13.8(±0.29)] on one stand differed significantly from one another (p < 0.0001), and that of H. hirta [-19.7(±0.81] and M. disticha [-34.5(±1.26)] on the other stand also differed significantly from each other (p < 0.0001). One way analysis of variance (ANOVA) thereof produced the following (F-ratio = 13.893; degrees of freedom = 29, p < 0.0001), and for H. hirta versus M. disticha, (F-ratio = 97.605; degrees of freedom = 23, p < 0.0001). Multiple range analysis tests revealed a significant difference between xylem water potentials of H. hirta from that of M. disticha and T. triandra but not between M. disticha and T. triandra.
Key words: South Africa, Signal Hill, fire, flowering plants, impact.
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