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Episodic seedling growth in Allosyncarpia ternata, a lignotuberous, monsoon rainforest tree in northern Australia

Fordyce, Ian Robert, Eamus, Derek and Duff, Gordon A. (2000). Episodic seedling growth in Allosyncarpia ternata, a lignotuberous, monsoon rainforest tree in northern Australia. Austral Ecology,25(1):25-35.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Episodic seedling growth in Allosyncarpia ternata, a lignotuberous, monsoon rainforest tree in northern Australia
Author Fordyce, Ian Robert
Eamus, Derek
Duff, Gordon A.
Journal Name Austral Ecology
Publication Date 2000
Volume Number 25
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1442-9985   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0034021305
Start Page 25
End Page 35
Total Pages 11
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Field of Research ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Abstract On the western Arnhem Land Plateau, Northern Territory, Australia, seedlings of the canopy tree Allosyncarpia ternata S.T. Blake typically spend many years (perhaps decades) as small (<1 m), multistemmed plants on the forest floor. In this establishment phase, long periods of apparent inactivity are interrupted by episodes of rapid growth. This paper describes a 5-year field-monitoring program to examine the pattern of seedling growth and survival in allosyncarpia forest, and field and shadehouse measurements of lignotuber size. Individual seedlings may produce, each wet season, a number of fast-growing stems, which then die back in the following dry season. As a result, mean annual above-ground growth during this life stage is negligible. With each wet season, however, the seedling extends its below ground parts – a large lignotuber and a deep root system. After a number of years, when the lignotuber has grown large enough to sustain massive shoot growth, when a suitable light gap becomes available, and presumably when roots reach reliable dry-season water supplies, the seedling grows rapidly. Thus, the shortage of saplings in allosyncarpia forest is due to the short time that individual plants spend at that particular growth-stage, rather than to any dysfunction in recruitment.
Keywords Allosyncarpia ternata
Australia
Lignotuber
Monsoon tropics
Northern Territory
Rainforest
Seedling growth
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1442-9993.2000.01029.x   (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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Created: Fri, 29 Aug 2014, 19:53:04 CST by Anthony Hornby