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 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. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Dick Williams

Current Issue

Australian Journal of Botany

Volume 65 Number 1 2017

BT16154Leaf and culm silicification of Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) developed on different soils from Pampean region, Argentina

Mariana Fernández Honaine, Natalia L. Borrelli, Margarita Osterrieth and Luis del Rio
pp. 1-10

Here we analysed the relation between the accumulation of silica-made particles and environmental and biological factors, a relation scarcely known in pampean grasses. Grasses, along with other plants, produce glass-like particles in their tissues which have multiple functions during plant growth and development. Understanding the factors affecting silica accumulation in plants has implications for managing agroecosystems and Si-requiring crops such as rice.

Arillastrum gummiferum (Myrtaceae) and Nothofagus aequilateralis (Nothofagaceae) are two tree species known to dominate the upper canopy of some rainforests on ultramafic substrates in New Caledonia. Structure, diversity and composition of these forests were investigated to better understand the ecological mechanisms leading to their monodominance.

Six Eucalyptus species with diverse seed sizes were sown in vertosol soils in a glasshouse to investigate the influence of sowing depth and three soil-moisture scenarios on seedling emergence. All species had greater emergence when sown superficially but responded differently to the watering treatments. Seed size had little effect.

As parasitic plants, mistletoes are functionally adapted to use host resources for their own growth and reproduction. As a response to mistletoe infection, infected branches produce leaves with morpho-physiological traits that allow higher resource conservation.

BT16148A genetic, demographic and habitat evaluation of an endangered ephemeral species Xerothamnella herbacea from Australia’s Brigalow belt

Alison Shapcott, Robert W. Lamont, Gabriel Conroy, Heather E. James and Yoko Shimizu-Kimura
pp. 38-57

Xerothamnella herbacea is an endangered herbaceous species from the Brigalow Belt impacted by gas pipeline developments. Most populations consisted of less than 100 plants with moderate to low genetic diversity and inbred. Geographic proximity does not predict genetic similarity of populations and diversity is not correlated with population size.

BT16184Structural and phytochemical investigation of the leaves of Ricinus communis

S. Mamoucha, N. Tsafantakis, N. Fokialakis and N. S. Christodoulakis
pp. 58-66

The highly toxic species of Ricinus communis L., was investigated for leaf anatomy, histochemistry and composition of secondary metabolites. Leaves of simple structure with numerous idioblasts and strong positive reaction to histochemical reagents for terpenes, flavonoids, phenolics and alkaloids. Among the secondary metabolites detected is the highly toxic alkaloid ricinine.

BT16157Comparative anatomy of the assimilatory organs of Nepenthes species

Olusegun O. Osunkoya and Nurul Amal Muntassir
pp. 67-79

The relationships between anatomy and physico-chemical properties of plant assimilatory organs (e.g. leaves) have been rarely considered, particularly so in carnivorous plants. The study was on five Nepenthes species, focussing on comparative anatomy of their leaves and conjoint pitchers, as well as on linkages of their tissue dimensions with organ life span and chemistry. The leaf stomata (for photosynthesis) and pitcher-wall glands (for digestive product transfer), despite differences in structure and function, are similar in epidermal origin and in their density–size relationships.

An in vitro protocol for Callerya speciosa regeneration through embryogenesis was developed using the anthers containing late uninucleate stage microspore as the explants. The embryonic callus induced from the anthers developed into embryos and plants. So, a highly efficient system for regenerating C. speciosa using anther culture was established.

BT16188Temporal vegetation changes in a seasonally dry tropical forest enclave in an ecotonal region between savanna and semiarid zones of Brazil

Geovany Heitor Reis, Marcela de Castro Nunes Santos Terra, David Yue Phin Tng, Deborah Mattos Guimaraes Apgaua, Polyanne Aparecida Coelho, Rubens Manoel dos Santos and Yule Roberta Ferreira Nunes
pp. 85-93

Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs) make up a globally important biome for biodiversity conservation, and many such forests occur in poorly studied isolated ecological islands or enclaves. Understanding temporal change in these forests is important for their conservation, and in a SDTF enclave in Minas Gerais, Brazil, we found evidence of shifting vegetation dynamics within these forests. Our results highlight the need for longer term monitoring of enclave SDTF patches.

Online Early

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

Published online 17 March 2017

BT16212Adaptive and diagnostic significance of the bark of Stryphnodendron polyphyllum (Leguminosae) from the Cerrado

Paula C. B. Vergílio and Carmen R. Marcati

Bark constitutes plant tissue that transports photosynthates and protects plants against pathogen attack, herbivore damage and high temperatures caused by Cerrado fires. Bark traits are directly related to fire protection in a fire-prone habitat and efficient photosynthate transport in a non-fire-prone habitat, with thicker rhytidome and wider sieve tubes respectively. Our study demonstrated that although bark anatomy is little studied, it offers rich diagnostic and adaptive information.

Published online 16 March 2017

BT16254Phytotoxic effects of extract and essential oil of Eucalyptus saligna (Myrtaceae) leaf litter on grassland species

Eliane R. Silva, Diana C. Lazarotto, Joséli Schwambach, Gerhard E. Overbeck and Geraldo L. G. Soares

Eucalyptus plantations are replacing natural grasslands in South Brazil, and under these plantations few plants establish, but processes shaping this pattern have been scarcely investigated. We showed that Eucalyptus saligna releases chemical substances in leaf litter that inhibit germination and seedling growth of grassland species. Therefore, suppression of grassland vegetation under E. saligna plantations may be potentially related to effects of allelochemicals.

Competition from neighbours can simultaneously favour increased dispersal and increased offspring provisioning (seed size), however, these functions trade-off with each other. We demonstrate a non-linear relationship between how fast seeds of wind dispersed Asteraceae species fall, and seed architecture (the size of the parachute like pappus versus the size of the ‘seed’). This non-linear relationship can be used to predict when plants allocate more to dispersal or provisioning when faced with intense competition.

Published online 10 March 2017

BT16086High levels of population differentiation in two New Caledonian Scaevola species (Goodeniaceae) and its implications for conservation prioritisation and restoration

Adrien S. Wulff, Peter M. Hollingsworth, Marie Piquet, Antje Ahrends, Laurent L'Huillier and Bruno Fogliani

Population genetics is a key element for the conservation of endangered plant species. The comparison of two congeneric species of Scaevola in New Caledonia, one widespread and one narrow endemic, indicates high differentiation between populations, especially for the narrow endemic species on very small geographical scale. These results demonstrated the importance of conserving multiple populations of narrow endemic species even when they co-occur in close proximity.

Published online 03 March 2017

BT16104Rainfall and grazing: not the only barriers to arid-zone conifer recruitment

Heidi C. Zimmer, Singarayer K. Florentine, Rita Enke and Martin Westbrooke

In arid Australia, the survival of a white cypress-pine seedling to maturity is rare. We found that fencing, particularly rabbit-proof fencing, resulted in increased numbers of white cypress-pine seedlings – but not at all sites. While protection from grazing is important for seedling survival, the potential for other factors to intervene means that rabbit-proof fencing does not guarantee the next generation of white cypress-pines.

Published online 28 February 2017

BT16190Genetic structure of Gahnia radula (Cyperaceae), a key sedge for revegetation

Alex Arnold, Andrea Kodym, Nancy M. Endersby-Harshman, John Delpratt and Ary A. Hoffmann

Gahnia radula is an important species of sedge needed for vegetation restoration. To understand the extent and source of genetic variation in this species in southern Australia, variation within different populations of the species was investigated. Knowledge gained from the study indicates a prevalence of asexual reproduction and supports recommendations for areas suitable for sourcing material for revegetation.

Published online 24 February 2017

BT16015Facultative crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in four small C3 and C4 leaf-succulents

Klaus Winter and Joseph A. M. Holtum

Four small Australian desert succulents respond to drought by switching from CO2 uptake in the light to CO2 uptake in the dark. Uptake of CO2 in the dark enables plants to persist at low water-cost, thereby potentially aiding reproduction. The ability to switch between photosynthetic pathways is a trait that may be more common within Australia’s flora than considered previously.

Published online 21 February 2017

BT16197DNA ploidy variation and distribution in the Lepidosperma costale complex (Cyperaceae): implications for conservation and restoration in a biodiversity hotspot

Mark J. Wallace, Lydia K. Guja, Marie A. Jouault, Kathy A. Fuller, Russell L. Barrett, Siegfried L. Krauss and Matthew D. Barrett

Genome multiplication (polyploidy) is an important phenomenon in plant evolution and has significant implications for conservation and ecological restoration. We studied genome multiplication in a group of rare sedges (the Lepidosperma costale species complex) in south-west Western Australia. Four ploidy levels were discovered, suggesting that polyploidy may be an important driver of diversification in these sedges.

Published online 30 January 2017

BT16170Subtropical native grasslands may not require fire, mowing or grazing to maintain native-plant diversity

Roderick J. Fensham, Donald W. Butler, Boris Laffineur, Harry J. MacDermott, John W. Morgan and Jennifer L. Silcock

The grasslands of temperate Australia seem to require disturbance to maintain species diversity. Grasslands in semiarid environments do not seem to have the same requirement. This short-term study suggests that subtropical grasslands on the Darling Downs do not have a requirement for disturbance to maintain species diversity. Drought in the subtropical environment may maintain grasslands in a sufficiently open structure to overcome the requirement for disturbance to maintain diversity of the intertussock flora.

Just Accepted

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.

Most Read

The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads in the last 60 days from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website. Usage statistics are updated daily.

  1. New handbook for standardised measurement of plant functional traits worldwide

    Australian Journal of Botany 61 (3)
    N. Pérez-Harguindeguy, S. Díaz, E. Garnier, S. Lavorel, H. Poorter, P. Jaureguiberry, M. S. Bret-Harte, W. K. Cornwell, J. M. Craine, D. E. Gurvich, C. Urcelay, E. J. Veneklaas, P. B. Reich, L. Poorter, I. J. Wright, P. Ray, L. Enrico, J. G. Pausas, A. C. de Vos, N. Buchmann, G. Funes, F. Quétier, J. G. Hodgson, K. Thompson, H. D. Morgan, H. ter Steege, L. Sack, B. Blonder, P. Poschlod, M. V. Vaieretti, G. Conti, A. C. Staver, S. Aquino, J. H. C. Cornelissen

Submit Article

Use the online submission system to send us your manuscript.

Best Student Paper

The Best Student Paper published in 2016 has been awarded to Paul Foreman.