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Australian Journal of Botany
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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Australian Journal of Botany is an international journal for the publication of original research and reviews in plant science with relevance to Southern Hemisphere ecosystems including ecology and ecophysiology, conservation biology and biodiversity, forest biology and management, cell and molecular biology, palaeobotany, reproductive biology and genetics, mycology and pathology and structure and development. More...

Editor-in-Chief: Dick Williams


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Published online 14 September 2015
Chromium and nickel accumulation in the macrophytes of the Kawasi wetland on Obi Island, North Maluku Province, Indonesia 
R. Amin, M. Edraki, D. R. Mulligan and T. H. Gultom

Nickel laterite deposits in tropical areas can disperse chromium into surrounding natural wetlands. This study investigates the species of macrophytes in such environment and the concentration of chromium in them. We identified five macrophytes with 37.1 to 180.8 mg kg–1 d.w. concentrations of Cr in the roots, and 10.5 to 23.7 mg kg–1 d.w. in the shoots. That information can be used to select macrophytes species for a constructed wetland.

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Published online 14 September 2015
Water relations of wallum species in contrasting groundwater habitats of Pleistocene beach ridge barriers on the lower north coast of New South Wales, Australia 
Stephen J. Griffith, Susan Rutherford, Kerri L. Clarke and Nigel W. M. Warwick

In this study we examined the groundwater-dependency of sclerophyllous evergreen vegetation (wallum) on sand barriers in eastern Australia. The species displayed a range of physiological strategies in response to water relations, and these strategies overlapped among contrasting growth forms and habitats. Wetland vegetation in the lowest part of the landscape appeared to tolerate extreme fluctuations in water availability linked to a prevailing climatic pattern of variable and unreliable seasonal rainfall.

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Published online 14 September 2015
Elucidating the determination of the rosette galls induced by Pisphondylia brasiliensis Couri and Maia 1992 (Cecidomyiidae) on Guapira opposita (Nyctaginaceae) 
Graziela Fleury, Bruno G. Ferreira, Geraldo L. G. Soares, Denis C. Oliveira and Rosy M. S. Isaias

Insect galls are elegant models for the comprehension of plant developmental processes. Rosette galls induced by Pisphondylia brasiliensis on Guapira opposita buds are determined by different patterns of primary meristematic activity, with overproduction of neoformed buds and leafy projections. Also, the typical secondary growth in Nyctaginaceae occurs in multichambered galls, configuring the positive correlation between the number of larvae and the gall size.

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Published online 07 September 2015
Recovery of treeless subalpine vegetation in Kosciuszko National Park after the landscape-scale fire of 2003 
K. L. McDougall, N. G. Walsh and G. T. Wright

Most subalpine plant species in south-eastern Australia are resprouters, but several plant communities are dominated by seeders, potentially making them sensitive to the expected increase in fire frequency as global temperatures rise. Some seeder- and resprouter-dominated communities had not recovered 10 years after a fire in Kosciuszko National Park. Recovery is possibly a function of both the vegetation and external influences. We conclude that future fire management should be adaptive rather than prescriptive.

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Published online 24 August 2015
Population structure of the invasive species Leucaena leucocephala (Fabaceae) in a seasonal semi-deciduous forest, southern Brazil 
Janete T. Costa, Inês C. B. Fonseca and Edmilson Bianchini

Biological invasion is a major problem because it affects biodiversity on the planet, especially in fragmented landscapes such as occurs in South Brazil. An established population of the invasive Leucaena leucocephala in a seasonal forest in Brazil was shown to be invading other areas of the forest where disturbance had occurred. Here we propose management actions to eradicate this species before other areas of this forest fragment are invaded.

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Published online 24 August 2015
Phenology of two co-occurring Piper (Piperaceae) species in Brazil 
Adriano Valentin-Silva and Milene F. Vieira

The co-occurrence of species can be associated with phenological factors. The phenological behaviour of the co-occurring species Piper gaudichaudianum and Piper vicosanum were influenced by environmental variables and occurred mainly in the rainy season, but the sequential flowering and fruiting isolated them temporally from each other. Further, they were seen to display distinct reproductive strategies that seem to favour the maintenance of local populations.

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Published online 24 August 2015
Post-fire succession during the long-term absence of fire in coastal heathland and a test of the chronosequence survey method 
Marc Freestone, Timothy J. Wills and Jennifer Read

Despite the widespread use of controlled ecological burning to manage heathland ecosystems in south-east Australia, we know little about how heathland vegetation changes in the long-term absence of fire. This study shows that the rate at which plant species drop out of heathlands in the absence of fire is probably slower than previously thought, and that different techniques used to study this rate can give different results. This has implications for how often land managers should burn heathlands and how post-fire recovery of heathland vegetation is measured.

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Published online 17 August 2015
Causes of infertility in the endangered Australian endemic plant Borya mirabilis (Boryaceae) 
Noushka H. Reiter, Neville G. Walsh and Ann C. Lawrie

The Grampians Pincushion Lily (Borya mirabilis) is close to extinction - only four colonies exist, all at one site. The species is 93-97% genetically uniform, polyploid and produces almost non-functional pollen. Although plants flower abundantly, they do not set seed naturally, and 450 artificial crosses resulted in only one (first known) seed for the species. Management plans should target cloning of all plants as the ex-situ collection does not currently capture the species’ full genetic diversity.

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Published online 10 August 2015
Grevillea (Proteaceae) seed coats contain inhibitors for seed germination 
Xuanli Ma, Jingnan Guo, Xinyan Han and Guijun Yan

In this research we investigated seed dormancy of Grevillea species and the effects of Grevillea seed coat extracts on seed germination and seedling growth of several other plant species. Results showed that the seed coat was a major factor determining Grevillea seed dormancy, and removal of seed coat dramatically increased seed germination. Grevillea seed coat extracts reduced seed germination and seedling growth of other plants. We conclude that there is exogenous seed dormancy in Grevillea species and the chemical(s) in the seed coat is a major factor inhibiting seed germination.

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blank image Australian Journal of Botany
Volume 63 Number 6 2015

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Conservation genetics and geographic patterns of genetic variation of the vulnerable officinal herb Fritillaria walujewii (Liliaceae) 
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Zhihao Su , Borong Pan , Stewart C. Sanderson , Xiaojun Shi and Xiaolong Jiang
pp. 467-476

Population genetics and evolutionary histories of threatened plants need to be understood to establish effective conservation strategies. We studied the genetic patterns of Fritillaria walujewii and found that Xinyuan County is the centre of diversification, and that populations in the eastern Tianshan Mountains were colonised from the Yili Valley. This information will provide prudent management strategies for its recovery.


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Knowledge of the reproductive ecology of the invasive Salix cinerea, in its invaded range, assists in more targeted management strategies 
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Tara Hopley and Andrew G. Young
pp. 477-483

A better understanding of the reproductive ecology of invasive species can assist land managers in developing effective control strategies. In its invaded range Salix cinerea was found to be ambophilous with both insects and wind playing a role in pollination while initial germination was found to be high but seed were short-lived. These results show a limited seed bank is available for this species highlighting that reducing seed set and dispersal should reduce reinfestation.


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Conservation biology of two endemic Beyeria species (Euphorbiaceae) from southern Western Australia 
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Brian J. Vincent , Sarah Barrett , Anne Cochrane , Julie A. Plummer and Michael Renton
pp. 484-496

We sought to understand and contrast the ecology of two endemic species of Beyeria (plant family Euphorbiaceae) from southern Western Australia. Unexpectedly, the more common and widespread Beyeria villosa appeared to have lower reproductive fitness than the very restricted B. cockertonii. However, B. cockertonii appeared dependent on a specific insect pollinator and this, along with habitat specificity, may render it vulnerable to threatening processes. The study will inform the conservation management of these species that are threatened by mining activities.


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Survival strategies of the root tuberous geophyte Chamaescilla corymbosa in a Mediterranean-climate rock-outcrop environment 
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Michael W. Shane and John S. Pate
pp. 497-511

Perennial geophytes such as Chamaescilla corymbosa are key components of shallow, nutrient-impoverished soils on granite outcrops in south-western Australia. Here, geophytes aestivate in response to severe drought and heat in summer, alternating with growth and flowering during wet and cool winter and spring seasons. Our investigation used a multi-faceted approach. The results clearly showed that growth and survival of C. corymbosa depends on a range of physiological, chemical and structural traits that have implications for addressing broader questions of diversity and adaptation in other long-lived species from similar Mediterranean-climate rock-outcrop environments.

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Buckling, bending and penetration response of the Taraxacum officinalae (Dandelions) to macadam loading 
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Peter R. Greene and Virginia A. Greene
pp. 512-516

Dandelion plants (Taraxacum officinalae) can lift an overhead weight of 2–3 N, sustaining this force for 3–4 weeks, causing yielding and cracking of an 8 cm thick macadam surface. Euler buckling theory was applied to experiments on flower stems and leaf stalks, estimating stresses, strains and modulus of the plant-tube wall, under heavy loading from overhead weight.


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Growth responses of Baumea juncea (Cyperaceae) plants from inland artesian spring and coastal habitats to salinity and waterlogging treatments 
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Nick Gellie , Kieren Beaumont , Duncan Mackay , Molly Whalen and Laurence Clarke
pp. 517-525

The sedge Baumea juncea has a disjunct distribution in South Australia, occurring in coastal regions and also on scattered artesian springs in inland arid regions. We found that the growth responses of plants to salinity and waterlogging treatments differed depending on the region from which the plants originated.


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Pseudoraphis spinescens (Poaceae) grasslands at Barmah Forest, Victoria, Australia: current distribution and implications for floodplain conservation 
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L. M. Vivian , K. A. Ward , D. J. Marshall and R. C. Godfree
pp. 526-540

The distribution and extent of P. spinescens floodplain grasslands at Barmah Forest was uncertain, despite its internationally recognised ecological importance. During repeated on-ground surveys over 2 successive years, we mapped ~182 ha of P. spinescens, which covered only a small fraction of the treeless lakes and plains. These findings demonstrate the importance of accurately quantifying the distribution of species of high conservation significance and developing an understanding of the drivers of their decline.


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Nothofagus trees show genotype difference that influence infection by mistletoes, Misodendraceae 
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Romina Vidal-Russell and Andrea C. Premoli
pp. 541-548

Mistletoes uptake nutrients and water from their hosts. It was observed that parasitic plants do not randomly infect the host, and heavily infected tress grow nearby uninfected ones. We studied if the genetic makeup of Nothofagus antarctica determine infection patterns by the mistletoe Misodendrum in temperate South America. Genetic characteristics differed between infected and non-infected trees which suggest parasites as selective agents on individual trees.

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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

    BT15169  Accepted 18 September 2015
    Moss and vascular epiphyte distributions over host tree and elevation gradients in Australian subtropical rainforest
    Jennifer Sanger, James Kirkpatrick

    BT15092  Accepted 14 September 2015
    Temperature affects the dormancy and germination of sympatric annual (Oryza meridionalis) and perennial (O. rufipogon) native Australian rices (Poaceae) and influences their emergence in introduced para grass (Urochloa mutica) swards.
    Sean Bellairs, Penelope Wurm, Beckie Kernich

    BT15097  Accepted 13 September 2015
    Phytotoxic effects of phenolic compounds on Calopogonium mucunoides (Fabaceae) roots
    Roberta Ribeiro, Rodrigo Feitoza, Helena Lima, Mário Carvalho

    BT15133  Accepted 02 September 2015
    Problems with using mean germination time (MGT) to calculate rate of seed germination
    Elias Soltani, Farshid Ghaderi-Far, Carol Baskin, Jerry Baskin

    BT15128  Accepted 02 September 2015
    The marked flooding tolerance of seedlings of a threatened swamp gum: implications for the restoration of critical wetland forests
    Joe Greet

    BT15124  Accepted 02 September 2015
    Effects of sulphur on arsenic accumulation in seedlings of the mangrove Aegiceras conrniculatum L.
    Guirong Wu, Haoliang Lu, Jingchun Liu, Chongling Yan

    BT15041  Accepted 02 September 2015
    The effect of burnt soils on growth of Xanthorrhoea glauca subsp. angustifolia (Xanthorrhoeaceae) seedlings in box-ironbark ecosystems, North Central Victoria
    Marc Bellette, Ruth Lawrence, Neal Enright

    BT15028  Accepted 02 September 2015
    The mistletoe flora of southern Western Australia with particular reference to host relationships and fire.
    Antony Start

    BT15022  Accepted 02 September 2015
    Differences in seedling water stress response of two co-occurring Banksia species
    Meisha Holloway-Phillips, Huyin Huai, Adrienne Nicotra, Jennifer Cochrane


The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 16 October 2014
Diversity of exotic vascular plant species on Moreton Island in subtropical Australia: increase over 100 years

Jian Wang

2. Published 19 February 2015
Restoration of eucalypt grassy woodland: effects of experimental interventions on ground-layer vegetation

S. McIntyre, R. B. Cunningham, C. F. Donnelly and A. D. Manning

3. Published 16 October 2014
Reproductive trajectories over decadal time-spans after fire for eight obligate-seeder shrub species in south-eastern Australia

Annette M. Muir, Peter A. Vesk and Graham Hepworth

4. Published 16 October 2014
The influence of depth-to-groundwater on structure and productivity of Eucalyptus woodlands

Sepideh Zolfaghar, Randol Villalobos-Vega, James Cleverly, Melanie Zeppel, Rizwana Rumman and Derek Eamus

5. Published 19 February 2015
Dormancy-breaking and germination requirements for seeds of Acacia papyrocarpa, Acacia oswaldii and Senna artemisioides ssp.×coriacea, three Australian arid-zone Fabaceae species

Leanne M. Pound, Phillip J. Ainsley and José M. Facelli

6. Published 16 October 2014
Salt stress differently affects growth, water status and antioxidant enzyme activities in Solanum lycopersicum and its wild relative Solanum chilense

Juan Pablo Martínez, Alejandro Antúnez, Héctor Araya, Ricardo Pertuzé, Lida Fuentes, X. Carolina Lizana and Stanley Lutts

7. Published 19 February 2015
Are shrubs really a sign of declining ecosystem function? Disentangling the myths and truths of woody encroachment in Australia

David J. Eldridge and Santiago Soliveres

8. Published 19 February 2015
Time since fire and average fire interval are the best predictors of Phytophthora cinnamomi activity in heathlands of south-western Australia

Nicole Moore, Sarah Barrett, Kay Howard, Michael D. Craig, Barbara Bowen, Bryan Shearer and Giles Hardy

9. Published 16 October 2014
Demographic history and niche conservatism of tropical rainforest trees separated along an altitudinal gradient of a biogeographic barrier

Rohan Mellick, Peter D. Wilson and Maurizio Rossetto

10. Published 19 February 2015
Comparative developmental anatomy of the taproot of the cucurbitaceous vines Citrullus colocynthis (perennial), Citrullus lanatus (annual) and Cucumis myriocarpus (annual)

Geoffrey E. Burrows and Razia S. Shaik

11. Published 26 March 2015
Lost in time and space: re-assessment of conservation status in an arid-zone flora through targeted field survey

J. L. Silcock, A. J. Healy and R. J. Fensham

12. Published 26 March 2015
Temperature influences stomatal density and maximum potential water loss through stomata of Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima along a latitude gradient in southern Australia

Kathryn E. Hill, Greg R. Guerin, Robert S. Hill and Jennifer R. Watling

13. Published 23 December 2014
Contrasting breeding systems revealed in the rainforest genus Davidsonia (Cunoniaceae): can polyembryony turn the tables on rarity?

F. G. Eliott, M. Shepherd, M. Rossetto, P. Bundock, N. Rice and R. J. Henry

14. Published 23 December 2014
What makes a swamp swampy? Water regime and the botany of endangered wetlands in western Victoria

Michelle T. Casanova and I. Joan Powling

15. Published 25 June 2015
The flora of ultramafic soils in the Australia–Pacific Region: state of knowledge and research priorities

Antony van der Ent, Tanguy Jaffré, Laurent L'Huillier, Neil Gibson and Roger D. Reeves

16. Published 26 March 2015
Do CO2, temperature, rainfall and elevation influence stomatal traits and leaf width in Melaleuca lanceolata across southern Australia?

Kathryn E. Hill, Robert S. Hill and Jennifer R. Watling

17. Published 16 October 2014
Large-scale micropropagation of the Australian key species Gahnia radula (Cyperaceae) and its return to revegetation sites

Andrea Kodym, Ian Clarke, Cristina Aponte, Shane Turner, Eric Bunn and John Delpratt

18. Published 23 December 2014
Evidence of population variation in drought tolerance during seed germination in four Banksia (Proteaceae) species from Western Australia

J. Anne Cochrane, Gemma L. Hoyle, Colin J. Yates, Jeff Wood and Adrienne B. Nicotra

19. Published 23 December 2014
Vegetation and environmental relations of ephemeral subtropical wetlands in central Queensland, Australia

J. J. Halford and R. J. Fensham

20. Published 23 December 2014
Algae and prey associated with traps of the Australian carnivorous plant Utricularia volubilis (Lentibulariaceae : Utricularia subgenus Polypompholyx) in natural habitat and in cultivation

Bartosz J. Płachno, Konrad Wołowski, Andreas Fleischmann, Allen Lowrie and Magdalena Łukaszek

Current Issue
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Volume 63 (6)

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The Best Student Paper published in 2014 has been awarded to Peter Harrison.

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Australian Journal of Botany vol. 63 no. 1 & 2 and no. 3 & 4 form special editions containing Part 1 & Part 2, respectively, of the proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Serpentine Ecology.


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