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Phenological patterns in monsoon rainforests in the Northern Territory, Australia

Bach, Christine S. (2002). Phenological patterns in monsoon rainforests in the Northern Territory, Australia. Austral Ecology,27(5):477-489.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 25 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Phenological patterns in monsoon rainforests in the Northern Territory, Australia
Author Bach, Christine S.
Journal Name Austral Ecology
Publication Date 2002
Volume Number 27
Issue Number 5
ISSN 1442-9985   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-2342665758
Start Page 477
End Page 489
Total Pages 13
Place of Publication Carlton
Publisher Blackwell
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Monsoon rainforests occur as scattered patches within a landscape dominated by eucalypt savannas across the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia. This study formed part of a larger project that investigated the interactions between frugivores and monsoon rainforest patches in the Top End of the Northern Territory. Phenological patterns in a set of 12 wet monsoon forests (WMF) and four dry monsoon forests (DMF) were examined by monitoring individuals of more than 100 species over 30 months. Phenological patterns of both WMF and DMF were closely related to the strongly seasonal climate. Leaf flush occurred before the onset of the wet season in WMF, and coincided with the onset of the wet in DMF. Major flowering peaks coincided with leaf flush in both forest types. Fruiting was concentrated in the wet season in both forest types, but fruiting peaks of WMF and DMF were separated by 3-4 months. Variations in fruiting patterns among forest types, patches, seasons and groupings of plant species (based on life form and ecological positioning) provide a mosaic of food resources for frugivores. This has important implications for the conservation and maintenance of the frugivore-rainforest system in northern Australia.
Keywords flowering
monsoon rainforest
northern australia
semi-deciduous forest
tropical rain-forest
reproductive phenology
dry forests
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