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

Factors Limiting the Recruitment of Eucalyptus salmonophloia in Remnant Woodlands .I. Pattern of Flowering, Seed Production and Seed Fall

CJ Yates, RJ Hobbs and RW Bell

Australian Journal of Botany 42(5) 531 - 542
Published: 1994


Woodlands dominated by Eucalyptus salmonophloia F. Muell. occur throughout the fragmented landscape of the Western Australian wheatbelt. In most of these remnant woodlands, there is no regeneration of E. salmonophloia and this has become a concern for the conservation of biodiversity in the region. This study examined seed production, seed viability and pattern of seed fall in four remnant populations of E. salmonophloia in the central wheatbelt of Western Australia, to determine whether these factors are limiting recruitment. Surveys of flowering, seed production and seed fall were conducted over a two-year-period which included three potential flowering seasons. Individual trees flowered once over this period and the intensity of flowering and the proportion of flowers which set seed varied greatly between remnants. Seed from up to two consecutive flowering seasons was stored in the canopy, thus, E. salmonophloia formed substantial canopy seed stores. Seeds were released from this store throughout the year and seed fall showed only a weak winter decline. The viability of seeds released from the canopy store in each remnant population was high. These results indicate that the availability of viable seed is unlikely to be responsible for the lack of E. salmonophloia recruitment in remnant woodlands.

© CSIRO 1994

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