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Effects of individual fire events on the flower production of fruit-bearing tree species, with reference to Aboriginal people's management and use, at Kalumburu, North Kimberley, Australia

Vigilante, Tom and Bowman, David (2004). Effects of individual fire events on the flower production of fruit-bearing tree species, with reference to Aboriginal people's management and use, at Kalumburu, North Kimberley, Australia. Australian Journal of Botany,52(3):405-416.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Effects of individual fire events on the flower production of fruit-bearing tree species, with reference to Aboriginal people's management and use, at Kalumburu, North Kimberley, Australia
Author Vigilante, Tom
Bowman, David
Journal Name Australian Journal of Botany
Publication Date 2004
Volume Number 52
Issue Number 3
ISSN 0067-1924   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 405
End Page 416
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication Collingwood, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Field of Research 0607 - Plant Biology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract This study used a number of landscape-scale natural experiments to investigate the influence of individual fire events on the reproductive output of key fruit-bearing woody species [Buchanania obovata Engl. (two leaf forms), Persoonia falcata R. Br., Planchonia careya (F. Muell.) Knuth, Syzygium eucalyptoides ( F. Muell.) B. Hyland, Syzygium suborbiculare (Benth.) T.Hartley & Perry. and Terminalia cunninghamii C. Gardner] around Kalumburu, North Kimberley, Australia. Flowering level was used as an estimate of reproductive success as sampling was done prior to fruit development. Terminalia cunninghamii was found to flower earlier and more prolifically in areas burnt in the early dry season of 1999 than in areas left unburnt; however, there was no significant difference between these treatments in 2000. Flowering levels were significantly reduced in burnt treatments ( from early to mid-dry season fires) for Buchanania obovata (large-leafed form), Persoonia falcata, Planchonia careya, Syzygium eucalyptoides and Syzygium suborbiculare. Positive correlations occurred between the minimum foliage height and total tree height of Buchanania obovata small-leafed form (r = 0.78, y = 0.61x + 0.003), large-leafed form ( r = 0.87, y = 0.59x + 0.10) and Syzygium suborbiculare (r = 0.76, y = 0.43x + 0.54). Above a height of 2 m, most trees have the majority of their foliage located in the top half of the tree. In all cases, flowering levels increased with foliage height intervals. The results indicate that fire events and their timing can have an impact on the reproductive cycle of fruit-tree species. Indigenous people have managed these resources through the careful use of fire. The conservation of fruit-tree species and frugivorous-animal species could benefit from (i) the careful management of areas with high densities of fruit-bearing species, and (ii) spatially and temporally diverse fire regimes across broader landscape units.
Keywords kakadu-national-park
impact
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT03157   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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