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 4 2017

BT17014Inhibitory action of allelochemicals from Artemisia nanschanica to control Pedicularis kansuensis, an annual weed of alpine grasslands

Zhanhuan Shang, Yuan Hou, Fei Li, Cancan Guo, Tianhua Jia, A. Allan Degen, Andrew White, Luming Ding and Ruijun Long
pp. 305-314

Allelochemicals can be used for biological weed management and can minimise environmental impacts related to herbicides. The aim of the present study was to identify allelochemicals of Artemisia nanschanica, a weed with strong allelopathic effects, that could potentially control Pedicularis kansuensis, a weed that causes rapid degradation of alpine pastures. Three allelochemicals were identified that can be used to biologically control P. kansuensis.

BT16232High outcrossing rates and short-distance pollination in a species restricted to granitic inselbergs

Karina Vanessa Hmeljevski, Marina Wolowski, Rafaela Campostrini Forzza and Leandro Freitas
pp. 315-326

Encholirium horridum is a species of bromeliad – the same family of plants as the pineapple – that only occurs on some isolated granitic outcrops in Brazil. Its flowers are mainly pollinated by bats and hummingbirds. And although these animals can fly over a long distance, pollen movement among flowers was concentrated in the neighbourhood. This affects seed viability and outcrossing rates of this endangered plant.

BT16258Bark traits, decomposition and flammability of Australian forest trees

Saskia Grootemaat, Ian J. Wright, Peter M. van Bodegom, Johannes H. C. Cornelissen and Veronica Shaw
pp. 327-338

What happens to bark once it is shed from the trunk of eucalypt trees? Decomposition and flammability of bark (and leaves) of 10 common species were quantified, and considerable variation in decomposability and flammability was found both within and across species, as driven by different physical and chemical traits. Taking species-specific bark traits into consideration can lead to better estimates of carbon losses and fire risks, and could improve management decisions for Australian forests and plantations worldwide.

BT17011Long-term studies of post-fire reproduction in an Australian shrubland and woodland

J. M. Harvey, A. J. M. Hopkins, M. A. Langley, C. R. Gosper, M. R. Williams and C. J. Yates
pp. 339-347

This unique long-term fire study in the Wheatbelt region of WA examined time to first flowering in 180 species and, in 60 of these, time to peak flowering over a 30-year period so as to inform land managers as to the appropriate fire intervals for kwongan shrublands and woodland understorey. Non-resprouting species with seed store in the canopy are most vulnerable to fire, take longer to first flower but are slightly quicker to reach peak flowering than resprouting species. Consequently, kwongan communities need a minimum fire interval of between 15 and 20 years and Allocasuarina woodlands of at least 25–30 years to reduce immaturity risk.

BT16222Photosynthesis of an epiphytic resurrection fern Davallia angustata (Wall .ex Hook. & Grev.)

Rosanne Quinnell, Daniel Howell and Raymond J. Ritchie
pp. 348-356

Davallia (Pachypleuria) angustata (Wall. ex Hook. & Grev.) is a common epiphytic fern that grows on tree trunks and palm trees in south-east Asia. Photosynthetic recovery experiments show that Davallia is a homiochlorophyllous resurrection plant. It is a sun plant (optimum irradiance is at ~45% of full sunlight). Its diurnal titratable acid cycle shows that it is not a CAM plant despite its succulent leaves.

BT16189Metal uptake and organic acid exudation of native Acacia species in mine tailings

Sebla Kabas, Felipe Saavedra-Mella, Trang Huynh, Peter M. Kopittke, Steve Carter and Longbin Huang
pp. 357-367

Metal mine tailings have emerged as a global environmental threat and require urgent rehabilitation with sustainable native plant communities. Native Acacia species as keystone species in semiarid regions of Australia exhibited different root exudation capability and associated metal uptake. As a result, those Acacia species taking up low levels of metals may be selected for the initial rapid phytostabilisation of metal mine tailings.

Lorikeets feed on large numbers of Eucalyptus flowers and supposedly pollinate some species, yet floral traits that facilitate this type of pollination have never been examined. Flowers of some species release pollen before the filaments unfurl, potentially excluding insects and allowing lorikeets to lick pollen with their tongues, which is then carried in large numbers to other flowers. These morphological and developmental traits facilitate considerable pollinator specificity.

BT16121Liana and bamboo cover threaten shrub populations in Atlantic forest fragments

Magda Silva Carneiro, Caroline Cambraia Furtado Campos and Flavio Nunes Ramos
pp. 375-383

Forest fragmentation is a major threat to tropical biodiversity. We investigated how biotic and abiotic factors affect total abundance and the numbers of individuals at each life stage of Psychotria vellosiana Benth. Our results indicate that forest fragmentation has led to alterations in the structure and abundance of this species, as all of its life stages are adversely affected by liana and bamboo cover.

BT16235Designing food and habitat trees for urban koalas: identifying short ecotypes of Corymbia intermedia

Stephen J. Trueman, Tracey V. McMahon, Elektra L. Grant, David A. Walton, Brittany B. Elliott and Helen M. Wallace
pp. 384-388

Many householders and councils prefer to plant short trees because tall trees may present a danger from falling limbs. We identified short populations of the normally-tall pink bloodwood tree, Corymbia intermedia, growing on exposed coastal headlands. We raised seedlings from these short trees and found that they were shorter in cultivation than seedlings from tall trees. These shorter eucalypt trees have potential for planting in gardens, streets and parklands as food and habitat for koalas and other urban fauna.

Temperate species of Rhododendron are protected from freezing induced embolisms by narrow vessels and have low efficiency for water flow, which is maladaptive for tropical species. We discovered that tropical Rhododendron species marginally relax protection against freeze–thaw and increase water flow capability. The trade-off between safety and efficiency in plants is supported, but change is limited within this single genus.

Online Early

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

Published online 17 August 2017

BT17089Aeluropus littoralis maintains adequate gas exchange, pigment composition and phenolic contents under combined effects of salinity and phosphorus deficiency

Ons Talbi Zribi, Kamel Hessini, Najla Trabelsi, Fethia Zribi, Abdelwahed Hamdi, Riadh Ksouri and Chedly Abdelly

The ability of Aeluropus littoralis to cope with both phosphorus (P) deficiency and high salt stresses is a result of several mechanisms mainly involved in the conservation of the integrity of the photosynthetic apparatus. Secondary metabolites – mainly phenolic compounds and carotenoids – play an important role in the protection of A. littoralis plants against oxidative damage under combined high salinity and P deficiency stresses.

Published online 10 August 2017

BT16231Relationship between nitrogen resorption and leaf size in the aroid vine Rhodospatha oblongata (Araceae)

André Mantovani, Dulce Mantuano and Eduardo Arcoverde de Mattos

Although leaves of Rhodospatha oblongata increased 35 times in area and 50% in vein density, the N concentration was always around 2–3% in green leaves and 1–2% in senescent leaves. Consequently, increase in vein density or in the amount of leaf N content were not the main constraining factors to leaf nitrogen resorption.

Published online 10 August 2017

BT16257Influence of auxin and phenolic accumulation on the patterns of cell differentiation in distinct gall morphotypes on Piptadenia gonoacantha (Fabaceae)

Cibele Souza Bedetti, Gracielle Pereira Bragança and Rosy Mary dos Santos Isaias

The accumulation of IAA–phenolics was compartmentalised on the basis of gall morphotypes on Piptadenia gonoacantha. The sites of accumulation coincided with the most hypertrophied regions, i.e., the cells of superior and lateral inferior cortices in the lenticular galls, and throughout the outer cortex in the globoid galls, which influenced on the determination of the lenticular and globoid shapes.

Published online 08 August 2017

BT17019Going nowhere fast: a review of seed dispersal in eucalypts

Trevor H. Booth

This paper considers how far natural stands of eucalypt species are likely to be able to disperse in the period to 2085. Although rare long-distance events cannot be ruled out, the most likely dispersal distances are about 70–140 m. However, limitations such as inadequate remnant stands and extensive agricultural developments may reduce actual migration rates below even this modest potential.

The capacity of Acacia harpophylla (brigalow) to resprout on cleared land is well documented, but its ability to recruit new individuals sexually is poorly understood because such reproduction events are rare. This study, undertaken following widespread flowering in late 2007, recorded very high initial densities of germinated seedlings (46 000 seedlings ha–1 on average), but less than 1% were estimated to survive the first year. Given the dramatic over-clearing of brigalow, such ecological knowledge is crucial for managing remaining populations.

Published online 25 July 2017

BT17048Thermogenesis and developmental progression of Macrozamia macleayi pollen cones

R. B. Roemer, D. Booth, L. I. Terry and G. H. Walter

The thermal activity of Macrozamia macleayi Miq. (family Zamiaceae) pollen cones changes with developmental stage in a manner similar to Cycas micronesica K.D. Hill (family Cycadaceae) pollen cones, suggesting a conserved physiological response across cycad families. The Macrozamia macleayi cones use carbohydrates, but not lipids, to fuel their large dehiscence stage thermogenic events, during which evaporation rates increase considerably.

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