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 > The Rangeland Journal   
The Rangeland Journal
  Rangeland Ecology & Management
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Sample Issue
Call for Papers
For Authors
General Information
Notice to Contributors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Advertisers
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 CP
blank image
facebook twitter youtube


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 35(4)

Seed bank dynamics of Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd. and its encroachment potential in sub-humid grasslands of eastern Australia

H. Ibrahim Erkovan A B , Peter J. Clarke B and Ralph D. B. Whalley B C

A Department of Field Crops, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ataturk, Erzurum 25240, Turkey.
B Botany, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: rwhalley@une.edu.au

The Rangeland Journal 35(4) 427-433 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RJ13036
Submitted: 18 April 2013  Accepted: 8 July 2013   Published: 15 August 2013

PDF (534 KB) $25
 Export Citation

Shrub encroachment involves abiotic and biotic factors that regulate demographic factors influencing seed production, storage, germination, and subsequent recruitment. In the rangelands of semi-arid and arid Australia, the thorny acacia, Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd., is apparently encroaching into grasslands and changing the structure, composition, and functioning of native grasslands. The potential for A. farnesiana to expand rapidly in response to changes in land use was examined by quantifying the reproductive output, dispersal, seed-bank density, and germination of seeds of A. farnesiana. Even in the absence of high grazing pressure, low numbers of seeds were produced and these were mainly locally dispersed, although long-distance dispersal via floods could occur. Pre-dispersal seed predation is likely to reduce the seed output, and despite strong physical seed dormancy, soil-stored seed banks were not large. Seed dormancy is broken by scarification but not strongly synergistically with fire or by fire alone, and fire may have a small effect on recruitment. Hence, pulse recruitment seems unlikely given the match between seedling densities and seed-bank density. These patterns suggest that A. farnesiana is unlikely to encroach rapidly into grasslands unless there is widespread landscape disturbance that triggers broad-scale dispersal, such as floods, and or physical scarification of seed.

Additional keywords: dispersal, fire cues, invasive species, soil-stored seed banks, woody thickening.


Arévalo, J. R., Afonso, L., Naranjo, A., and Salas, M. (2010). Invasion of the Gran Canaria ravines ecosystems (Canary Islands) by exotic species Acacia farnesiana. Plant Ecology 206, 185–193.
CrossRef |

Beath, K. (2000). GLMStat, generalised linear modelling software. Version 5.7.5. Sydney, NSW.

Bell, D. T., Plummer, J. A., and Taylor, S. K. (1993). Seed germination ecology in southwestern Australia. Botanical Review 59, 24–73.
CrossRef |

Bewley, J. D., and Black, M. (1994). ‘Seeds: Physiology of Development and Germination.’ 2nd edn. (Plenum Press: New York.)

Cervantes, V., Carabias, J., and Vazquez-Yanes, C. (1996). Seed germination of woody legumes from deciduous tropical forest of southern Mexico. Forest Ecology and Management 82, 171–184.
CrossRef |

Clarke, P. J., Gardener, M. R., Nano, C. E., and Whalley, R. D. B. (1998). ‘The Vegetation and Plant Species of Kirramingly.’ (Botany, University of New England: Armidale, NSW.)

Duke, J. A. (1981). ‘Handbook of Legumes of World Economic Importance.’ (Plenum Press: New York.)

Eldridge, D. J., Bowker, M. A., Maestre, F. T., Rogers, E., Reynolds, J. F., and Whitford, W. G. (2011). Impacts of shrub encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning: toward a global synthesis. Ecology Letters 14, 709–722.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Esau, K. (1960). ‘Anatomy of Seed Plants.’ (John Wiley and Sons: New York.)

García-Einder, L. R., Goni-Cedano, S., Olguin-Lara, P. A., Diaz-Salgado, G., and Arriaga-Jordan, C. M. (2009). Huizache (Acacia farnesiana) whole pods (flesh and seeds) as an alternative feed for sheep in Mexico. Tropical Animal Health and Production 41, 1615–1621.
CrossRef |

Gibson, M. R., Richardson, D. M., Marchante, E., Marchante, H., Rodger, J. G., Stone, G. N., Byne, M., Fuentes-Ramírez, A., George, N., Harris, C., Johnson, S. D., Le Roux, J. J., Miller, J. T., Murphy, D. J., Pauw, A., Prescott, M. N., Wandrag, E. M., and Wilson, D. R. U. (2011). Reproductive biology of Australian acacias: important mediator of invasiveness? Diversity & Distributions 17, 911–933.
CrossRef |

Hall, N. H. (1967). Weeds in the Northern Territory. Acacia farnesiana (needle bush). Pamphlet No. 11. Primary Industry Branch, Northern Territory Administration, Darwin. (Summary from Herbage Abstracts (1968). 38, 129, Abstract 802).

Harper, J. L. (1977). ‘Population Biology of Plants.’ (Academic Press: London.)

Kodela, P. G., and Wilson, P. G. (2006). New combinations in the genus Vachellia (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) from Australia. Telopea 11, 233–244.

Lambert, F. J., Bower, M., Whalley, R. D. B., Andrews, A. C., and Bellotti, W. D. (1990). The effect of soil moisture and planting depth on emergence and seedling morphology of Astrebla lappacea (Lindl.) Domin. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 41, 367–376.
CrossRef |

Leino, M. W., and Edqvist, J. (2010). Germination of 151-year old Acacia spp. seeds. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 57, 741–746.
CrossRef | CAS |

Lewis, T., Reid, N., Clarke, P. J., and Whalley, R. D. B. (2010). Resilience of a high-conservation-value, semi arid grassland on fertile clay soils to burning, mowing and ploughing. Austral Ecology 35, 464–481.
CrossRef |

Meyer, R. E., and Bovey, R. W. (1982). Establishment of Honey Mesquite and Huisache on a native pastures. Journal of Range Management 35, 548–550.
CrossRef |

Midgley, J. J., and Bond, W. J. (2001). A synthesis of the demography of African acacias. Journal of Tropical Ecology 17, 871–886.
CrossRef |

Mucunguzi, P., and Oryem-Origa, H. (1996). Effects of heat and fire on the germination of Acacia sieberiana D.C. and Acacia gerrardii Benth. in Uganda. Journal of Tropical Ecology 12, 1–10.
CrossRef |

Naito, A. T., and Cairns, D. M. (2011). Patterns and processes of global shrub expansion. Progress in Physical Geography 35, 423–442.
CrossRef |

Radford, I. J., Nicholas, D. M., Brown, J. R., and Kriticos, D. J. (2001). Paddock-scale patterns of seed production and dispersal in the invasive shrub Acacia nilotica (Mimosaceae) in Northern Australian rangelands. Austral Ecology 26, 338–348.
CrossRef |

Rolston, M. P. (1978). Water impermeable seed dormancy. Botanical Review 44, 365–396.
CrossRef | CAS |

Scifres, C. J. (1974). Salient aspects of huisache seed germination. The Southwestern Naturalist 18, 383–392.
CrossRef |

Traveset, A. (1990). Post-dispersal predation of Acacia farnesiana seeds by Stator vachelliae (Bruchidae) in Central America. Oecologia 84, 506–512.

Traveset, A. (1991). Pre-dispersal seed predation in Central American Acacia farnesiana: factors affecting the abundance of co-occurring bruchid beetles. Oecologia 87, 570–576.
CrossRef |

Van Auken, O. W. (2000). Shrub invasion of North American semi-arid grasslands. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 31, 197–215.
CrossRef |

Walters, M., Midgley, J. J., and Somers, M. J. (2004). Effects of fire and fire intensity on the germination and establishment of Acacia karoo, Acacia nilotica, Acacia luederitzii and Dichrostachys cinerea in the field. BMC Ecology 4, .
CrossRef | PubMed |

Witkowski, E. T. F., and Garner, R. D. (2000). Spatial distribution of soil seed banks of three African savanna woody species at two contrasting sites. Plant Ecology 149, 91–106.
CrossRef |

Subscriber Login


Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2015