Mark Ooi

Mark Ooi

I am a plant ecologist and much of my work encompasses the broad themes of seed ecology, fire ecology and global change biology, and particularly how changes to environmental factors can impact upon life-history traits and populations. This work is often applied to understanding related key ecological issues, including maintaining biodiversity and the impacts of climate change. I conduct my research in several systems including fire-prone heath and forests, arid ephemeral plant communities, and dune systems. I am involved in collaborative projects in Europe, China and Brazil, as well as with Australian researchers from the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University.

Most recently, as part of the NESP-funded Threatened Species Recovery Hub, I have developed several projects investigating the ecology of threatened species and how they respond to changes to the fire regime. 

I have a number of funded Honours projects available related to the conservation of threatened shrub species in fire-prone regions currently available. Please contact me if you’re interested in these or are interested in pursuing a PhD by emailing

See also: Website

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Publications (members and visitors to my lab highlighted in bold)

1.       Collette J.C., Ooi M.K.J. (2017) Germination ecology of the endangered species Asterolasia buxifolia (Rutaceae): smoke response depends on season and light. Australian Journal of Botany

2.       Ooi M.K.J., Auld T.D., Beaumont L.J., Bradstock R.A. (2017) Climate influence over vegetation pattern and process. In: Australian Vegetation 3rd Edition (ed D.A. Keith), pp. 182-206. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

3.       Ramos D.M., Diniz P., Ooi M.K.J., Borghetti F. and Valls J.F.M. (2017) Avoiding the dry season: dispersal time and syndrome mediate seed dormancy in Neotropical savanna grasses. Journal of Vegetation Science doi10.1111/jvs.12531

4.       Auld T.D., Ooi M.K.J (2017) Plant life cycles above and below ground. In: Australian Vegetation 3rd Edition (ed D.A. Keith), pp. 230-254. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

5.       Liyanage G.S. and Ooi M.K.J. (2017) Do dormancy-breaking temperature thresholds change as seeds age in the soil seed bank? Seed Science Research 27, 1-11.

6.       Vergnon R., Ooi M.K.J. and Freckleton R.P. (2017) Complex relationships between competing guilds along large-scale environmental gradient. American Naturalist 189, 407-421 doi: 10.1086/690765

7.       Gilpin A.M., Collette J., Ooi M.K.J., Denham A.J., Ayre D.J. (2017) Do introduced honeybees effect seed set and vigour in a plant adapted for bird pollination? Journal of Plant Ecology

8.       Liyanage G.L., Ayre D.J. and Ooi M.K.J. (2016) Seedling performance covaries with dormancy-breaking thresholds: maintaining cryptic seed heteromorphism in a fire-prone ecosystem. Ecology 97, 3009-3018.

9.       Ramos D.M., Liaffa A.B.S., Diniz P., Munhoz C.B.R., Ooi M.K.J., Borghetti F. and Valls J.F.M. (2016) Seed tolerance to heating is better predicted by seed dormancy than by habitat type in Neotropical savannah grasses. International Journal of Wildland Fire 25, 1273-1280.

10.   Mackenzie B.D.E., Auld T.D., Keith D.A., Hui F.K.C., Ooi M.K.J. (2016) The effect of ambient seasonal temperatures on fire-stimulated germination of species with physiological dormancy: a case study using Boronia (Rutaceae). PLoS ONE 11(5):e0156142 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156142

11.   Liyanage G.S., Ooi M.K.J. (2015) Intra-population variation in thresholds for physical dormancy-breaking temperature. Annals of Botany 116, 123-131.

12.   Wang Y.C., Ooi M.K.J., Ren G.H., Jiang D.M., Musa A., Miao R.H., Li X.H., Zhou Q.L., Tang J., Lin J.X. (2015) Species shifts in above-ground vegetation and the soil seed bank in the inter-dune lowlands of an active dune field in Inner Mongolia, China. Basic and Applied Ecology 16, 490-499.  doi:10.1016/j.baae.2015.04.010

13.   Ooi M.K.J. (2015) Seed bank dynamics and climate change in semi-arid ecosystems: a focus on physically dormant species. Revista Brasileira de Geografia Física 8, 651-659.

14.   Ma H., Yang H., Lu X., Pan Y., Wu H., Liang Z., Ooi M.K.J. (2015) Does high pH give a reliable assessment of the effect of alkaline soil on seed germination? A case study with Leymus chinensis. Plant and Soil 394, 35-43.

15.   Hudson AR, Ayre DJ, Ooi MKJ (2015) Physical dormancy in a changing climate. Seed Science Research 25, 66-81.

16.   Ma H., Yang H., Liang Z., Ooi M.K.J. (2015) Effects of 10-year management regimes on the soil seed bank in saline-alkaline grassland. PLoS One 10(4): e0122319.   doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122319

17.   Tozer M.G., Ooi M.K.J. (2014) Humidity-regulated dormancy onset in the Fabaceae: a conceptual model and its ecological implications for the Australian wattle Acacia saligna. Annals of Botany 114, 579-590.

18.   Ooi M.K.J., Denham A.J., Santana V.M., Auld T.D. (2014) Temperature thresholds of physically dormant seeds and plant functional response to fire: variation among species and relative impact of climate change. Ecology and Evolution 4, 656-671.

19.   Doxford S.W., Ooi M.K.J., Freckleton R.P. (2013) Spatial and temporal variability in positive and negative plant-bryophyte interactions along a latitudinal gradient. Journal of Ecology 101, 465-474.

20.   Thompson K, Ooi MKJ (2013) Germination and dormancy breaking: two different things. Seed Sci Research 23, 1.

21.   Ooi M.K.J. (2012) Seed bank persistence and climate change. Seed Science Research 22, S53-S60.

22.   Swab R.M., Regan H.M., Keith D.A., Regan T.J., Ooi M.K.J. (2012) Niche models tell half the story: spatial context and life history traits influence species responses to climate change. Journal of Biogeography 39, 122-1277.

23.   Ooi MKJ, Auld TD, Denham AJ (2012) Projected soil temperature increase and seed dormancy response along an altitudinal gradient: implications for seed bank persistence under climate change. Plant and Soil 353, 289-303.

24.   Thompson K., Ooi M.K.J. (2010) To germinate or not to germinate: more than just a question of dormancy. Seed Science Research 20, 209-211.

25.   Santana V.M., Bradstock R.A., Ooi M.K.J., Denham A.J., Auld T.D., Baeza M.J. (2010) Effects of soil temperature regimes after fire on seed dormancy and germination in six Australian Fabaceae species. Australian Journal of Botany 58, 539-545.

26.   Ooi M.K.J. (2010) Delayed emergence and post-fire recruitment success: effects of seasonal germination, fire season and dormancy type. Australian Journal of Botany 58, 248-256.

27.   Auld T.D., Hutton I., Ooi M.K.J., Denham A.J. (2010) Disruption of recruitment in two endemic palms on Lord Howe Island by invasive rats. Biological Invasions 12, 3351-3361.

28.   Ooi M.K.J., Auld T.D., Denham A.J. (2009) Climate change and bet-hedging: interactions between increased soil temperatures and seed bank persistence. Global Change Biology 15, 2375 – 2386.

29.   Auld T.D., Ooi M.K.J. (2009) Heat increases germination of water-permeable seeds of obligate-seeding Darwinia species (Myrtaceae). Plant Ecology 200, 117-127.

30.   Martyn A.J., Seed L.U., Ooi M.K.J., Offord C.A. (2009) A review of seed fill, viability and germination: Family Rutaceae. Cunninghamia 11, 203-212.

31.   Hutton I., Coenraads R., Auld T.D., Denham A.J., Ooi M.K.J., Brown D. (2009) Herbicide impacts on exotic grasses and a population of the critically endangered herb Calystegia affinis (Convolvulaceae) on Lord Howe Island. Cunninghamia 10, 539-545

32.   Auld T.D., Ooi M.K.J. (2008) Applying seed germination studies in fire management for biodiversity conservation in south-eastern Australia. Web Ecology 8, 47-54.

33.   Ooi M.K.J., Auld T.D., Whelan R.J. (2007) Soil seed bank longevity of three shrub species from south-eastern Australia: distinguishing between dormancy and persistence in a fire-prone region. J. Veg. Science 18, 405-412.

34.   Ooi M.K.J. (2007) Dormancy classification and potential dormancy-breaking cues for shrub species from fire-prone south-eastern Australia. In: Seeds: Biology, Development and Ecology (eds S.W. Adkins, S. Ashmore and S.C. Navie), pp. 205-216. CAB International, Wallingford.

35.   Burley A.L., Phillips S., Ooi M.K.J. (2007) Can age be predicted from diameter for the obligate seeder Allocasuarina littoralis using dendrochronological techniques? Australian Journal of Botany 55, 433-438.

36.   Ooi M.K.J., Auld T.D., Whelan R.J. (2006a) Dormancy and the fire-centric focus: germination of three Leucopogon species (Ericaceae) from south-eastern Australia. Annals of Botany 98, 421-430.

37.   Ooi M.K.J., Whelan R.J., Auld T.D. (2006b) Persistence of obligate-seeding species at the population scale: the effects of fire intensity, fire patchiness and long fire-free intervals. Int. Journal of Wildland Fire 15, 261-269.

38.   Ooi M.K.J., Auld T.D., Whelan R.J. (2004a) Delayed post-fire seedling emergence linked to season: a case study with Leucopogon species (Epacridaceae). Plant Ecology 174, 183-196.

39.   Ooi M.K.J., Auld T.D., Whelan R.J. (2004b) Comparison of the cut and tetrazolium tests for assessing seed viability: a study using Australian native Leucopogon species. Ecological Management & Restoration 5, 141-143

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