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Bamboo, fire and flood: regeneration of Bambusa arnhemica (Bambuseae: Poaceae) after mass-flowering and die-off at contrasting sites in monsoonal northern Australia

Franklin, Donald C. and Bowman, David (2003). Bamboo, fire and flood: regeneration of Bambusa arnhemica (Bambuseae: Poaceae) after mass-flowering and die-off at contrasting sites in monsoonal northern Australia. Australian Journal of Botany,51(5):529-542.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 17 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Bamboo, fire and flood: regeneration of Bambusa arnhemica (Bambuseae: Poaceae) after mass-flowering and die-off at contrasting sites in monsoonal northern Australia
Author Franklin, Donald C.
Bowman, David
Journal Name Australian Journal of Botany
Publication Date 2003
Volume Number 51
Issue Number 5
ISSN 0067-1924   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0242318849
Start Page 529
End Page 542
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication Collingwood
Publisher Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Field of Research 0607 - Plant Biology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Bambusa arnhemica F. Muell., a long-lived, gregarious-flowering and semelparous bamboo endemic to north-western Australia, occurs in remarkably disparate but somewhat fire-sheltered flood-prone riparian forest and rocky hillside vine-thickets, but not in adjacent fire-prone savannas. We investigated the response of B. arnhemica seedlings to fire and flood at two contrasting sites over 2.5 years following a mass-flowering and die-off event. Seedlings grew vigorously notwithstanding either prolonged inundation or total loss of above-ground parts to fire within their first year. However, there was no evidence that such disturbance promoted regeneration, and several veins of evidence suggest that B. arnhemica is fire-retardant and refugial rather than fire-promoting. We suggest that creation of canopy gaps by parental death is a more parsimonious and generalisable hypothesis for the evolution of gregarious semelparity in bamboos than the recently advanced bamboo fire-cycle hypothesis. However, both hypotheses are potentially group selectionist, and resolution of dispersal distances and/or the spatial genetics of relatedness are required to resolve the problem.
Keywords tropical dry forest
tree regeneration
deciduous forest
cycle hypothesis
rain-forest
seed
territory
ecology
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT03014   (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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