Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems

Australian Journal of Botany

Australian Journal of Botany

Australian Journal of Botany is an international journal for publication of original research in plant science. The journal publishes in the areas of ecology and ecophysiology; invasive biology; conservation biology and biodiversity; forest biology and management; cell and molecular biology; palaeobotany; reproductive biology and genetics; mycology and pathology; structure and development; and aquatic botany. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Dick Williams

Current Issue

Australian Journal of Botany

Volume 66 Number 1 2018

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Scalping (topsoil removal), grass canopy removal by burning or slashing, nutrient reduction by adding carbon to the soil and native plant recruitment improvement by adding seed were compared as tools for restoring Cumberland Plain Woodland ground cover. The greatest increases in native species numbers occurred when (i) the topsoil was scalped and native seed added, (ii) the grass canopy was burnt, and soil carbon and native seed added; or (iii) the grass canopy was slashed and native seed added.

BT17128Population genetics of Melaleuca irbyana (Myrtaceae) the ‘swamp tea tree’ and implications for its conservation and restoration

Reuben Burrough, Gabriel Conroy, Robert W. Lamont, Yoko Shimizu-Kimura and Alison Shapcott
pp. 13-25
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The endangered tree Melaleuca irbyana (Myrtaceae) dominates the critically endangered, south-east Queensland swamp tea tree forest where there are active recovery programs. New populations were recently found in the Brigalow Belt outside its previously known range and were found to be genetically distinct. The species populations contain moderate genetic diversity and are not principally clonal. There is considerable differentiation among populations, particularly between the geographic regions it occupies, so care should be taken to consider local provenance in restoration plantings.

BT17150Demographic vulnerability of an extreme xerophyte in arid Australia

Lynda D. Prior, Quan Hua and David M. J. S. Bowman
pp. 26-38
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Callitris glaucophylla is an iconic Australian conifer, but in much of the arid zone there has been little recent regeneration. We found that near Roxby Downs, at the arid extreme of its range, good rain in 2010/11 did not lead to seedling establishment, probably because the wet period was not long enough. Radiocarbon dating showed these trees have a maximum lifespan of ~270 years, which together with instrumental climate records suggests that here, trees of this species have only 2–8 climatic opportunities to reproduce.

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Our understanding of how recruitment influences population genetic structure of plants endemic to granite outcrops is limited. I surveyed genetic diversity, growth rate and survival, and parentage of seedlings in a rare recruitment event of the granite-endemic tree Eucalyptus caesia. The seedlings were less heterozygous than adults, yet there were no trends in heterozygosity or fixation values of seedlings over 20 months to match those of adults, and no evidence for reduced growth rates or survivorship of relatively inbred offspring. E. caesia may have mechanisms in place to cope with low genetic variation and genetic insularity.

BT17116Genetic and environmental parameters show associations with essential oil composition in West Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)

Jessie Moniodis, Michael Renton, Christopher G. Jones, E. Liz Barbour and Margaret Byrne
pp. 48-58
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Santalum spicatum contains a valuable, terpene-rich essential oil in its heartwood. In this study we sought to improve understanding of genetic and environmental contributors to chemical variability. Results showing links of variability with genetics and the environment will be used to direct future studies which aim to improve breeding options for terpenes sought by industry. Further work should be directed at finding additional causes of terpene variation across species of Santalum, which can be used to improve commercial and conservation goals.

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In evergreen rainforests, deep shade and waterlogging are two common stressors affecting seedling performance in the understorey. We tested the hypothesis that high levels of carbon storage confer shade- and waterlogging- tolerances by preventing carbon limitation under stress. Results showed that shade-tolerant species exhibited lower carbon storage and performed better under waterlogging conditions than shade-intolerant species, suggesting that carbon storage does not confer waterlogging tolerance. This information will help in understanding the dynamics of the forests where species with contrasting shade tolerance occur.

BT16185Functional dioecy in Gleditsia amorphoides (Fabaceae)

María Carolina Cerino, Damián César Castro, Geraldina Alicia Richard, Eliana de Luján Exner and José Francisco Pensiero
pp. 85-93
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The study of the reproductive biology of promissory wild species is essential for their culture, conservation and plant breeding. We studied the breeding system, floral morphology and floral visitors of Gleditsia amorphoides. It is a tree endemic to the Chaquenean Forest of South America, with multiple uses, such as, for example, as a source of timber and products with industrial applications, such as galactomannans and saponins. Our results showed that G. amorphoides is a xenogamous species with functionally unisexual flowers that require pollinators (beetles, flies and bees) for the formation of seeds and fruits.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 16 March 2018

BT17210Occurrence of polyploidy in populations of Acacia dealbata in south-eastern Tasmania and cytotypic variation in reproductive traits

Q. C. Nghiem, A. R. Griffin, C. E. Harwood, J. L. Harbard, S. Le, A. Price and A. Koutoulis
Graphical Abstract Image

The study is of interest to determine whether variation in the ploidy of natural populations has contributed to the evolution of silver wattle (Acacia dealbata Link); the species is common in forest and woodland communities in Tasmania and likely to dominate on disturbed sites. The present paper has reported the frequency of different cytotypes in 10 populations in south-eastern Tasmania and affirmed that clonal development via suckering is an important reproductive mechanism of this species.

Published online 15 March 2018

BT17143Metallophytes on Zn-Pb mineralised soils and mining wastes in Broken Hill, NSW, Australia

Adrian L. D. Paul, Peter D. Erskine and Antony van der Ent
Graphical Abstract Image

Metallophytes are plants that are able to tolerate soils with high metal concentrations and therefore have great potential for mine site rehabilitation. However, little is known about native metallophytes in semiarid environments in Australia. Research conducted in the largest Zn/Pb mineralisation zone of Australia (Broken Hill, NSW) found no obligate metallophytes. Nevertheless, they may be present in the wider area, and their identification should be prioritised. Several facultative metallophytes were identified in this study, however, and are useful species to prioritise for future mine rehabilitation efforts.

Published online 13 March 2018

BT17182High fruit sets in a rewardless orchid: a case study of obligate agamospermy in Habenaria

Wenliu Zhang and Jiangyun Gao
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Flowers of Habenaria species are characterised by long spurs and mostly pollinated by long-tongued hawkmoths or butterflies, but H. malintana show very short spurs with no nectar or scent. Field experiments and observations revealed that this orchid has completely abandoned sexual reproduction and adopted obligate agamospermy to achieve high reproductive output.

Published online 22 February 2018

BT17098Gaps critical for the survival of exposed seeds during Cerrado fires

L. Felipe Daibes, Elizabeth Gorgone-Barbosa, Fernando A. O. Silveira and Alessandra Fidelis
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The fine-scale effects of fire heat and their consequences in tropical savannas are poorly understood. We investigated the effect of fire temperature on the survival of exposed seeds of two legume species of the Cerrado (Brazilian savannas). Vegetation gaps were the only places where exposed seeds survived experimental fires and are therefore considered ‘safe sites’.

Published online 19 February 2018

BT17174Autophagy is associated with male sterility in pistillate flowers of Maytenus obtusifolia (Celastraceae)

Isabella Veríssimo Nader Haddad, Lygia Dolores Ribeiro de Santiago-Fernandes and Silvia Rodrigues Machado
Graphical Abstract Image

Programmed cell death (PCD) is an organised cellular degradation and may promote sterility during reproductive development. We investigated the cellular changes that lead to the absence of pollen in pistillate flowers of Maytenus obtusifolia and observed that PCD is promoted by autophagy. These results may contribute to a better understand of the cellular bases of plant fertility.

Published online 16 February 2018

BT17164The influence of ethanol as a solvent on the gibberellic acid-induced germination of Brachyscome and Allittia (Asteraceae) seeds

Rina Aleman, Manfred Jusaitis, Joan Gibbs, Phil Ainsley and Fleur Tiver
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Gibberellic acid (GA3) is a hormone often used in seed science research. Because of its low solubility in water, GA3 is commonly dissolved in a small quantity of ethanol before making up to volume with water. This low concentration of ethanol was found to affect seed germination in Brachyscome and Allittia species, so pure water is recommended for dissolving GA3 in seed trials with these species.

Graphical Abstract Image

Caladenia is unique among orchids in that it contains both species pollinated by food-foraging insects, and species pollinated by sexual deception, providing the opportunity to investigate the evolution of sexual mimicry. Here, we report a new case of pollination by sexual deception in the Caladenia filamentosa complex, a group with brightly coloured, scented flowers previously thought to be pollinated by food deception. Our findings demonstrated that sexual deception can be achieved without dull-coloured flowers and insectiform labella.

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