Developing standardised classification of post-fire responses is essential for globally consistent comparisons of woody vegetation communities. Existing classification systems are based on responses of species growing in fire-prone environments. To accommodate species that occur in rarely burnt environments, we have suggested some important points of clarification to earlier schemes categorizing post-fire responses. We have illustrated this approach using several Australasian conifer species as examples of pyrophobic species. In particular, we suggest using the term "obligate seeder" for the general category of plants that rely on seed to reproduce, and qualifying this to "post-fire obligate seeder" for the narrower category of species with populations that recover from canopy fire only by seeding; the species are typically fire-cued, with large aerial or soil seed banks that germinate profusely following a fire, and grow and reproduce rapidly in order to renew the seed bank before the next fire.
Athrotaxis, Australian conifers, Callitris, canopy fire, obligate seeder, resprouting, high-severity fire