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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 31 August 2015
Growth responses of Baumea juncea (Cyperaceae) plants from inland artesian spring and coastal habitats to salinity and waterlogging treatments 
Nick Gellie, Kieren Beaumont, Duncan Mackay, Molly Whalen and Laurence Clarke

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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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 24 August 2015
Pseudoraphis spinescens (Poaceae) grasslands at Barmah Forest, Victoria, Australia: current distribution and implications for floodplain conservation 
L. M. Vivian, K. A. Ward, D. J. Marshall and R. C. Godfree

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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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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Published online 03 August 2015
Nothofagus trees show genotype difference that influence infection by mistletoes, Misodendraceae 
Romina Vidal-Russell and Andrea C. Premoli

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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Published online 03 August 2015
Survival strategies of the root tuberous geophyte Chamaescilla corymbosa in a Mediterranean-climate rock-outcrop environment 
Michael W. Shane and John S. Pate

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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Published online 29 July 2015
Buckling, bending and penetration response of the Taraxacum officinalae (Dandelions) to macadam loading 
Peter R. Greene and Virginia A. Greene

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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Published online 30 June 2015
Knowledge of the reproductive ecology of the invasive Salix cinerea, in its invaded range, assists in more targeted management strategies 
Tara Hopley and Andrew G. Young

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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Published online 19 June 2015
Conservation biology of two endemic Beyeria species (Euphorbiaceae) from southern Western Australia 
Brian J. Vincent, Sarah Barrett, Anne Cochrane, Julie A. Plummer and Michael Renton

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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Published online 21 May 2015
Conservation genetics and geographic patterns of genetic variation of the vulnerable officinal herb Fritillaria walujewii (Liliaceae) 
Zhihao Su, Borong Pan, Stewart C. Sanderson, Xiaojun Shi and Xiaolong Jiang

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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Volume 63 Number 5 2015

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The role of phosphorus deficiency in nodule microbial composition, and carbon and nitrogen nutrition of a native legume tree in the Cape fynbos ecosystem 
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Anathi Magadlela , Waafeka Vardien , Aleysia Kleinert , Léanne L. Dreyer and Alexander J. Valentine
pp. 379-386

Legumes native to low-nutrient ecosystems need atmospheric nitrogen to survive. Phosphorus deficiency in the nodule bacterial composition’s role in biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) was investigated and it was found that BNF was more efficient, even though the bacterial composition was unaffected. The bacterial species inside legume nodules may be highly adapted to function in P-poor soils, for host N provision.


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Reproductive success of Acacia longifolia (Fabaceae, Mimosoideae) in native and invasive populations 
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Marta Correia , Sílvia Castro and Susana Rodríguez-Echeverría
pp. 387-391

More and bigger seeds contribute to the invasive success of the Australian species A. longifolia in Portugal. This study compared selfing and reproductive success of A. longifolia showing no changes in selfing but an increase in the quantity and size of the seeds produced in the invaded region even for self-pollinated fruits. Intercontinental comparisons, such as this, are scarce but essential to understand invasion by exotic plants.


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Determining maturity and population structure in Macrozamia parcifolia (Zamiaceae), a threatened Australian cycad 
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Adrian C. Borsboom , Jian Wang and Paul I. Forster
pp. 392-402

Worldwide there are many threatened cycads, and for trunkless species, determining what constitutes a mature plant and incorporating this information into a population structure is difficult. Demonstrated for one threatened, trunkless Australian cycad is a new, simple and effective method of determining maturity and population structure. This method and the knowledge derived will aid in its conservation management, and could be applied to other threatened cycads.


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Cytological study of Polystichum (Dryopteridaceae) species from southern South America 
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Rita E. Morero , Franco E. Chiarini , Juan Urdampilleta , Gloria E. Barboza and David S. Barrington
pp. 403-414

This study provides the first cytological approach on nine Polystichum species in order to increase our understanding of their systematic relationship. We found 2x, 4x and 8x ploidy levels, genome downsizing in polyploids, sexual reproduction, and spore size correlated with ploidy level. These evidences and a cytological literature survey suggest different evolutionary paths between species from southern South America and those of northern and central Andes Mountains.


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Developmental phenology of Persoonia longifolia (Proteaceae) and the impact of fire on these events 
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K. A. Chia , J. M. Koch , R. Sadler and S. R. Turner
pp. 415-425

We undertook a comprehensive study over a 3-year period to detail the growth, flowering, fruiting and germination biology of Persoonia longifolia (snottygobble). Plants produced vegetative growth, flowers and fruit during summer months and germination occurred during late winter from seed that is at least 1-year old, with these responses affected by fire. This research is vital for developing methods of returning this plant to rehabilitated areas of the jarrah forest, in south-western Australia.


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The reproductive biology of the introduced root holoparasite Orobanche ramosa subsp. mutelii (Orobanchaceae) in South Australia 
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Jane Prider
pp. 426-434

Knowledge of the seed production of invasive species is vital for weed risk assessments and control programs. We investigated aspects of the seed production of broomrape and found that each flower can produce over 1000 viable seeds within 10 days of the flower dying. This species has similar seed traits to other broomrapes which are important weeds of crops worldwide.


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Practical and theoretical implications of a browsing cascade in Tasmanian forest and woodland 
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Alister Hazeldine and Jamie B. Kirkpatrick
pp. 435-443

Animal browsing can transform tree and forest. We found that wallabies and pademelons preferred to eat prickly box and native cherries, and avoided many wattles, but would eat all small trees as seedlings. Their browsing appeared to keep dry forests more open, and less prone to fire damage, than would otherwise have been the case.


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Dormancy is modulated by seed structures in palms of the cerrado biome 
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V. S. Carvalho , L. M. Ribeiro , P. S. N. Lopes , C. O. Agostinho , L. J. Matias , M. O. Mercadante-Simões and L. N. F. Correia
pp. 444-454

Seeds of species adapted to the environments with seasonal climates commonly have sophisticated mechanisms for delaying germination, which contributes to the development of plants in favourable occasions. In this paper we investigate how the structures of palm seeds of Cerrado (Brazilian savannah) influence germination. We found that differences in both the embryo size as the seed coat thickness make the germination be distributed over time, which affects the pattern of geographic distribution of species.


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An evaluation of the genetic structure of seed sources and the maintenance of genetic diversity during establishment of two yellow box (Eucalyptus melliodora) seed-production areas 
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Linda M. Broadhurst , Graham Fifield , Bindi Vanzella and Melinda Pickup
pp. 455-466

Seed production areas (SPAs) are one way to ensure the regular supply of high genetic quality seed for restoration. This evaluation of two Yellow Box SPAs found that genetic diversity is similar to that of natural populations. These SPAs will provide high quality seed for future restoration projects and reduce the need to collect from wild populations.


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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.

    BT15103  Accepted 26 July 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 Griffith, Susan Rutherford, Kerri Clarke, Nigel Warwick

    BT15066  Accepted 25 July 2015
    Chromium and Nickel accumulation in the Macrophytes of the Kawasi Wetland in Obi Island, North Maluku province, Indonesia
    Radjali Amin, Mansour Edraki, David Mulligan, Tonny Gultom

    BT15106  Accepted 18 July 2015
    Elucidating the determination of the rosette galls induced by Pisphondylia brasiliensis Couri & Maia 1992 (Cecidomyiidae) on Guapira opposita (Vell.) Reitz (Nyctaginaceae)
    Graziela Fleury, Bruno Ferreira, Denis Oliveira, Geraldo Soares, Rosy Isaias

    BT14319  Accepted 16 July 2015
    Recovery of treeless subalpine vegetation in Kosciuszko National Park after the landscape-scale fire of 2003
    Keith McDougall, Neville Walsh, Genevieve Wright


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 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

3. 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

4. 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

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 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

9. 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

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 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

13. 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

14. 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

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 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

17. 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

18. 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

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 (5)

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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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