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

Effect of altitude on resource allocation in the weed Achillea millefolium (yarrow, Asteraceae) in the Australian Alps

Frances Mary Johnston A C and Catherine Marina Pickering B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A PO Box 192, 40 McIntosh Circuit, Murrumbateman, NSW 2586, Australia.

B School of Environmental and Applied Sciences, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, PMB 50 Gold Coast Mail Centre, Qld 9726, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: francesjohnston@optusnet.com.au

Australian Journal of Botany 52(5) 639-646 https://doi.org/10.1071/BT03005
Submitted: 6 January 2003  Accepted: 9 July 2004   Published: 25 October 2004

Abstract

Increasing severity of environment associated with increasing altitude in mountain ecosystems (decreasing temperature, increasing duration of snow cover) can affect relative and absolute biomass-allocation patterns in plants. Biomass allocation was examined along a 620-m altitudinal gradient in the Australian Alps for the important environmental weed Achillea millefolium (L., Asteraceae, yarrow). Relative and absolute biomass allocation (dry weight) to reproductive (capitula, flowering stems and associated leaves), vegetative (leaves not on the flowering stem) and below-ground structures (rhizome and roots) were measured at each of nine sites by using quadrats. Increasing altitude resulted in a decrease in relative and absolute allocation of biomass to reproductive structures. For example, the dry weight of inflorescences declined as altitude increased because of a decrease in the weight of the terminal and side branches of the inflorescences, but not the total number of capitula produced. There was also a trend for increased relative allocation to below-ground structures with increasing altitude, even though altitude did not affect absolute allocation to below-ground and vegetative structures, or the total dry weight of A. millefolium. These results are consistent with those for other species growing at high altitude. The management implications for the control of A. millefolium in the Australian Alps are discussed, including in relation to predicted climatic change.


Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism and the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. The authors thank Wendy Hill for fieldwork assistance and comments on a draft of this manuscript and Darri Adamson of Editing Matters for proof reading the manuscript. Thanks also go to Stuart, William, Megan and Evonne Johnston for assistance in the preparation and measurement of plant material. The comments of two anonymous reviewers are appreciated.


References


Bostock SJ, Benton RA (1979) The reproductive strategies of five perennial Compositae. Journal of Ecology 67, 91–107. open url image1

Bourdot GW (1984) Regeneration of yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.) rhizome fragments of different length from various depths in the soil. Weed Research 24, 421–429. open url image1

Bourdot GW, Butler JHB (1985) Control of Achillea millefolium L. (yarrow) by rotary cultivation and glyphosphate. Weed Research 25, 251–258. open url image1

Bourdot GW, Field RJ (1988) Review of the ecology and control of Achillea millefolium L. (yarrow) on arable land in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Experimental Agriculture 16, 99–108. open url image1

Bourdot GW, White JGH, Field RJ (1979) Seasonality of growth and development in yarrow. In ‘Proceedings of the thirty-second New Zealand weed and pest control conference’. (Ed. MJ Hartley ) pp. 49–54. (New Zealand Weed and Pest Control Association: Dunedin)


Bourdot GW, Field RJ, White JGH (1985) Growth analysis of Achillea millefolium L. (yarrow) in the presence and absence of a competitor—Hordeum vulgare L. (barley). New Phytologist 101, 507–519. open url image1

Brown JAH, Millner FC (1989) Aspects of the meteorology and hydrology of the Australian Alps. In ‘The scientific significance of the Australian Alps. Proceedings of the first Fenner conference’. (Ed. R Good ) pp. 297–332. (Australian Alps National Parks Liaison Committee: Canberra)


Chapin FS, Chapin MC (1981) Ecotypic differentiation of growth processes in Carex aquatilis along latitudinal and local gradients. Ecology 62, 1000–1009. open url image1

Clausen JJ, Keck DD, Hiesey WM (1958) Experimental studies on the nature of species 3. Environmental responses of climatic races of . Publication no. 581, (Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication: Washington)

Coakes, SJ ,  and  Steed, LG (2000). ‘SPSS analysis without anguish.’ (Wiley: New York)

Costin, AB , Gray, M , Toterdell, CJ ,  and  Wimbush, DJ (2000). ‘Kosciuszko alpine flora.’ (CSIRO: Melbourne)

Field RJ, Jayaweera CS (1985) The influence of clopyralid and glyophosate on yarrow rhizome regeneration. In ‘Proceedings of the New Zealand weed and pest control conference’.


Grime JP (1977) Evidence for the existence of three primary strategies in plants and its relevance to ecological and evolutionary theory. American Naturalist 111, 1169–1194.
CrossRef | open url image1

Hiesey WM (1953) Comparative growth between and within climatic races of Achillea under controlled conditions. Evolution 7, 297–316. open url image1

Holm, L , Panch, JV , Herberger, JP ,  and  Plunknett, DL (1979). ‘A geographical atlas of world weeds.’ (John Wiley and Sons: New York)

Johnston FM, Pickering CM (2001a) Alien plants in the Australian Alps. Mountain Research and Development 21, 284–291. open url image1

Johnston FM, Pickering CM (2001b) Yarrow Achillea millefolium L., a weed threat to the flora of the Australian Alps. Victorian Naturalist 118, 21–24. open url image1

Körner CH, Renhardt U (1987) Dry matter partitioning and root length/leaf area ratios in herbaceous perennial plants with diverse altitudinal distribution. Oecologia 74, 411–418. open url image1

Körner C, Larcher W (1988) Plant life in cold climates. Symposium Society of Experimental Biology 42, 25–57. open url image1

Körner, C (1999). ‘Alpine plant life: functional plant ecology of high mountain ecosystems.’ (Springer-Verlag: Berlin)

Körner C, Neumayer M, Menendez-Riedl S, Smeets-Scheel A (1989) Functional morphology of mountain plants. Flora 182, 353–383. open url image1

Mallen-Cooper J (1990) Introduced plants in the high altitude environments of Kosciusko National Park, south eastern Australia. PhD Thesis (Department of Biogeography, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University: Canberra)

McDougall KL, Appleby ML (2000) Plant invasions in the high mountains of north-eastern Victoria. Victorian Naturalist 117, 52–59. open url image1

Mendez M, Obeso JR (1992) Size-dependant reproductive and vegetative allocation in Arum italicum (Araceae). Canadian Journal of Botany 71, 309–314. open url image1

Molau U (1993) Relationships between flowering phenology and life history strategies in Tundra plants. Arctic and Alpine Research 25, 391–402. open url image1

Pickering CM (1994) Size-dependant reproduction in Australian alpine Ranunculus. Australian Journal of Ecology 19, 336–344. open url image1

Pickering CM, Armstrong T (2003) Potential impact of climate change on plant communities in the Kosciuszko alpine zone. Victorian Naturalist 120, 263–272. open url image1

Rutherford GA (1986) A survey of yarrow control with cloypralid on Canterbury mixed cropping farms. In ‘Proceedings of the thirty-ninth New Zealand weed and pest conference’.


Saintly, G , Hoskings, J ,  and  Jacobs, S (1998). ‘Alps invaders—weeds of the Australian high country.’ (Australian Alps Liaison Committee, Gillingham Printers: South Australia)

Sanecki GM, Saneki KL, Wright GT, Johnston FM (2003) The response of yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.) to herbicide application in the Snowy Mountains, South Eastern Australia. Weed Research 43, 357–361.
CrossRef | open url image1

Schmid B, Bazzaz FA, Weiner J (1995) Size dependency of sexual reproduction and of clonal growth in two perennial plants. Canadian Journal of Botany 73, 1831–1837. open url image1

Warwick SI, Black L (1982) The biology of Canadian weeds 52. Achillea millefolium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 62, 163–182. open url image1

Whetton P (1998) Climate change impacts on the spatial extent of snow-cover in the Australian Alps. In ‘Snow, a natural history: an uncertain future’. (Ed. K Green ) pp. 195–206. (Australian Alps Liaison Committee: Canberra)








Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (8)