Pyrophyte

Pyrophyte

A pyrophyte is a plant which tolerates fire. The term is most often used for trees that are naturally resistant to fire because of high moisture content or thick bark. Although all trees are, to some extent, resistant to fire, some such as giant redwoods, sequoias, and cork oaks are highly pyrophytic. Some trees and shrubs such as the eucalypts of Australia actually encourage the spread of fires by producing inflammable oils, and are dependent on their resistance to fire which keeps other species of tree from invading their habitat.

Fire-resistant trees are sometimes called passive pyrophytes, in contrast to shrubs and herbaceous plants that are stimulated to regrowth or germination by fire, and are called active pyrophytes. Plants which actually require fire for reproduction are called pyrophiles.

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