CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Australian Journal of Botany   
Australian Journal of Botany
Journal Banner
  Southern Hemisphere Botanical Ecosystems
 
blank image Search
 
blank image blank image
blank image
 
  Advanced Search
   

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Contacts
Content
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Turner Review Series
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Scope
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
Awards and Prizes
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter LinkedIn

red arrow PrometheusWiki
blank image
PrometheusWiki
Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology

 

Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 62(1)

Seedling growth rates and light requirements of subtropical rainforest trees associated with basaltic and rhyolitic soils

C. H. Lusk A D, K. M. Sendall B and P. J. Clarke C

A Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand.
B Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, 1530 Cleveland Avenue N, St Paul, MN 55108, USA.
C Department of Botany, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: clusk@waikato.ac.nz

Australian Journal of Botany 62(1) 48-55 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT13262
Submitted: 27 October 2013  Accepted: 19 March 2014   Published: 23 April 2014


 
PDF (266 KB) $25
 Export Citation
 Print
  
Abstract

A trade-off between shade tolerance and growth in open conditions is widely believed to underlie the dynamics of humid forests. Little is known about how the growth versus shade tolerance trade-off interacts with other major trade-offs associated with differential adaptation to major environmental factors besides light. We asked whether the growth versus shade tolerance trade-off differed between subtropical rainforest tree assemblages native to basaltic (fertile) and rhyolitic (infertile) soils in northern New South Wales, because of the allocational costs of adaptation to low nutrient availability. Seedling relative growth rates of six basalt specialists and five rhyolite specialists were measured in a glasshouse and the minimum light requirements of each species were quantified in the field by determining the 10th percentile of juvenile tree distributions in relation to understorey light availability. A similar range of light requirements was observed in the two assemblages, and although the two fastest growing species were basalt specialists, seedling growth rates did not differ significantly between the two substrates. The overall relationship between light requirements and growth rate was weak, and there was no compelling evidence that the slope or elevation of this relationship differed between the two assemblages. Growth rates were significantly correlated, overall, with specific leaf area, and marginally with leaf area ratio. The apparent similarity of the growth versus shade tolerance trade-off in the two suites of species could reflect effects of leaf nutrient content on respiration rates; basalt specialists tended to have a smaller root mass fraction, but this may have been offset by the effects of leaf nitrogen status on respiration rates, with higher respiration rates expected on fertile basaltic soils. However, the results might also partly reflect impairment of the field performance of two basalt specialists that were heavily attacked by natural enemies.

Additional keywords: forest dynamics, light compensation point for growth, relative growth rate, shade tolerance.


References

Baltzer JL, Thomas SC (2007) Determinants of whole-plant light requirements in Bornean rain forest tree saplings. Journal of Ecology 95, 1208–1221.
CrossRef |

Baur G (1957) Nature and distribution of rain-forests in New South Wales. Australian Journal of Botany 5, 190–233.
CrossRef |

Bazzaz F, Pickett S (1980) Physiological ecology of tropical succession: a comparative review. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 11, 287–310.
CrossRef |

Brokaw NVL (1985) Gap-phase regeneration in a tropical forest. Ecology 66, 682–687.
CrossRef |

Coomes DA, Kunstler G, Canham CD, Wright E (2009) A greater range of shade-tolerance niches in nutrient-rich forests: an explanation for positive richness–productivity relationships? Journal of Ecology 97, 705–717.
CrossRef |

Cornelissen JHC, Diez PC, Hunt R (1996) Seedling growth, allocation and leaf attributes in a wide range of woody plant species and types. Journal of Ecology 84, 755–765.
CrossRef |

Denslow JS (1987) Tropical rainforest gaps and tree species diversity. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 18, 431–451.
CrossRef |

Evans GC (1972) ‘The quantitative analysis of plant growth.’ (University of California Press: Berkeley, CA)

Falster DS, Warton DI, Wright IJ (2006) ‘SMATR: Standardised major axis tests and routines. Version 2.0.’ (Macquarie University: Sydney)

Floyd AG (1989) ‘Rainforest trees of mainland south-eastern Australia.’ (Inkata Press: Melbourne)

Frazer GW, Canham CD, Lertzman KP (1999) ‘Gap light analyzer (GLA): imaging software to extract canopy structure and gap light transmission indices from true-colour fisheye photographs. Users manual and program documentation, Version 2.0.’ (Simon Frazer University: Burnaby, BC, Canada; Institute of Ecosystem Studies: Millbrook, NY)

Hubbell SP, Foster RB (1992) Short-term dynamics of a neotropical forest: why ecological research matters to tropical conservation and management. Oikos 63, 48–61.
CrossRef |

Keddy PA, MacLellan P (1990) Centrifugal organization in forests. Oikos 59, 75–84.
CrossRef |

Kelly J, Jose S, Nichols JD, Bristow M (2009) Growth and physiological response of six Australian rainforest tree species to a light gradient. Forest Ecology and Management 257, 287–293.
CrossRef |

Kobe RK (1999) Light gradient partitioning among tropical tree species through differential seedling mortality and growth. Ecology 80, 187–201.
CrossRef |

Kobe RK, Pacala SW, Silander JA, Canham CD (1995) Juvenile tree survivorship as a component of shade tolerance. Ecological Applications 5, 517–532.
CrossRef |

Kohyama T, Hotta M (1990) Significance of allometry in tropical saplings. Functional Ecology 4, 515–521.
CrossRef |

Kooyman RM, Zanne AE, Gallagher RV, Cornwell W, Rossetto M, O’Connor P, Parkes EA, Catterall CF, Laffan SW, Lusk CH (2013) Effects of growth form and functional traits on response of woody plants to clearing and fragmentation of subtropical rainforest. Conservation Biology 27, 1468–1477.
CrossRef | CAS |

Lambers H, Poorter H (1992) Inherent variation in growth rate between higher plants: a search for physiological causes and consequences. Advances in Ecological Research 23, 187–261.
CrossRef | CAS |

Lin J, Harcombe PA, Fulton MR, Hall RW (2002) Sapling growth and survivorship as a function of light in a mesic forest of southeast Texas, USA. Oecologia 132, 428–435.
CrossRef |

Lusk CH, Reich PB (2000) Relationships of leaf dark respiration with light environment and tissue nitrogen content in juveniles of 11 cold-temperate tree species. Oecologia 123, 318–329.
CrossRef |

Lusk CH, Onoda Y, Kooyman R, Gutiérrez-Girón A (2010) Reconciling species-level versus plastic responses of evergreen leaf structure to light gradients: shade leaves punch above their weight. New Phytologist 186, 429–438.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Lusk CH, Kaneko T, Grierson E, Clearwater M (2013a) Correlates of tree species sorting along a temperature gradient in New Zealand rain forests: seedling functional traits, growth and shade tolerance. Journal of Ecology 101, 1531–1541.
CrossRef |

Lusk CH, Kelly JWG, Gleason SM (2013b) Light requirements of Australian tropical vs. cool-temperate rainforest tree species show different relationships with seedling growth and functional traits. Annals of Botany 111, 479–488.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Norghauer J, Newbery D (2014) Herbivores differentially limit the seedling growth and sapling recruitment of two dominant rain forest trees. Oecologia 174, 459–469.

Paz H (2003) Root/shoot allocation and root architecture in seedlings: variation among forest sites, microhabitats, and ecological groups. Biotropica 35, 318–332.

Poorter L, Bongers F (2006) Leaf traits are good predictors of plant performance across 53 rain forest species. Ecology 87, 1733–1743.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Poorter H, Van der Werf A, Atkin OK, Lambers H (1991) Respiratory energy requirements of roots vary with the potential growth rate of a plant species. Physiologia Plantarum 83, 469–475.
CrossRef |

Poulson TL, Platt WJ (1989) Gap light regimes influence canopy tree diversity. Ecology 70, 553–555.
CrossRef |

Royer DL, Kooyman RM, Little SA, Wilf P (2009) Ecology of leaf teeth: a multi-site analysis from an Australian subtropical rainforest. American Journal of Botany 96, 738–750.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Sánchez-Gómez D, Valladares F, Zavala MA (2006) Performance of seedlings of Mediterranean woody species under experimental gradients of irradiance and water availability: trade-offs and evidence for niche differentiation. New Phytologist 170, 795–806.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Schaffer B, Mason LJ (1990) Effects of scale insect herbivory and shading on net gas exchange and growth of a subtropical tree species (Guaiacum sanctum L.). Oecologia 84, 468–473.

Schläpfer B, Ryser P (1996) Leaf and root turnover of three ecologically contrasting grass species in relation to their rerformance along a productivity gradient. Oikos 75, 398–406.
CrossRef |

Shugart HH (1984) ‘A theory of forest dynamics. The ecological implications of forest succession models.’ (Springer-Verlag: Berlin)

Smith T, Huston M (1989) A theory of the spatial and temporal dynamics of plant communities. Vegetatio 83, 49–69.
CrossRef |

Stocker GC (1981) Regeneration of a North Queensland rain forest following felling and burning. Biotropica 13, 86–92.
CrossRef |

Turnbull MH, Tissue DT, Griffin KL, Richardson SJ, Peltzer DA, Whitehead D (2005) Respiration characteristics in temperate rainforest tree species differ along a long-term soil-development chronosequence. Oecologia 143, 271–279.
CrossRef |

Turner J, Kelly J (1981) Relationships between soil nutrients and vegetation in a north coast forest, New South Wales. Australian Forest Research 11, 201–208.

Veblen TT (1992) Regeneration dynamics. In ‘Plant succession: theory and prediction’. (Eds DC Glenn-Lewin, RK Peet, TT Veblen) pp. 135–145. (Chapman and Hall: London)

Veneklaas EJ, Poorter L (1998) Growth and carbon partitioning of tropical tree seedlings in contrasting light environments. In ‘Inherent variation in plant growth. Physiological mechanisms and ecological consequences’. (Eds H Lambers, H Poorter, MMI van Vuuren) pp. 337–361. (Backhuys Publishers: Leiden, The Netherlands)

Walters MB, Kruger EL, Reich PB (1993) Relative growth-rate in relation to physiological and morphological traits for northern hardwood tree seedlings: species, light environment and ontogenic considerations. Oecologia 96, 219–231.
CrossRef |

Webb LJ (1968) Environmental relationships of the structural types of Australian rainforest vegetation. Ecology 49, 296–311.
CrossRef |


   
Subscriber Login
Username:
Password:  

 
    
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help

CSIRO

© CSIRO 1996-2015