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Background: Seedling recruitment following fire is an infrequent yet critical demographic transition for woody plants in Mediterranean ecosystems. Aims: Here we examine whether post-fire seedling recruitment of three widespread Californian chaparral shrubs is affected by local adaptation within an edaphically and topographically complex landscape. Methods: We reciprocally transplanted 6-month-old seedlings of Adenostema fasciculatum, Ceanothus cuneatus and Eriodictyon californicum to serpentine and sandstone soils, and cool northerly and warm southerly slopes. Results: At the age of 2 years, none of the species manifested higher survival or growth on ‘home’ compared with ‘away’ soils or slopes, indicating an absence of local adaptation with respect to seedling recruitment in these environments. Seedlings of all species manifested lower survival and relative growth on serpentine soils regardless of seedling source, as well as a variety of other destination and source effects. Conclusions: The ability of these three species to recruit in new environments, such as in restoration settings or in response to shifting climates, is unlikely to be impeded by a need for seeds from sources that closely match their edaphic or topographic destination."


This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Plant Ecology & Diversity, 2012, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: