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Australian Journal of Botany
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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


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. More

Editor-in-Chief: Dick Williams


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Published online 20 September 2016
Spinifex–mallee revegetation: implications for restoration after mineral-sands mining in the Murray–Darling Basin 
Ian R. K. Sluiter, Andrew Schweitzer and Ralph Mac Nally

Approved and proposed mineral sands mines in the Murray–Darling Basin have the potential to adversely affect large tracts of land with spinifex–mallee vegetation. Broad-scale revegetation of this vegetation type has not been attempted in south-eastern Australia, but a small-scale revegetation trial at Wemen in Victoria’s semiarid north-west indicated much promise with hand-planting of tubestock of spinifex (Triodia scariosa) and mallee eucalypts. Although spatially limited, the results of this trial suggest that spinifex tubestock planted at high densities can achieve restoration objectives for this component of spinifex–mallee vegetation.

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Published online 16 September 2016
Solving taxonomic problems within the Aldama genus based on anatomical characters 
Aline Bertolosi Bombo, Arinawa Liz Filartiga and Beatriz Appezzato-da-Glória

Anatomical characteristics are important for taxonomic studies on different plant families. The present study focussed on four Brazilian Aldama species (Asteraceae family) that were chosen because they are difficult to identify and have biological and pharmacological potential. All four species analysed could be differentiated on the basis of the set of anatomical features described for each species. So, we concluded that anatomy is able to provide data to assist with the taxonomic problems within the four species analysed herein.

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Published online 16 September 2016
Ant defence of a dioecious shrub, Adriana quadripartita (Euphorbiaceae), with extrafloral nectaries 
Kieren P. Beaumont, Duncan A. Mackay and Molly A. Whalen

Extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) attract ants that can provide defence against herbivorous insects, although the outcomes of this mutualism can vary greatly. For the dioecious shrub, Adriana quadripartita, the presence of ants tending EFNs reduced herbivore numbers; however, herbivore numbers were overall greater on male plants and ants reduced leaf damage on male but not female plants. In the context of this and previous studies on Adriana, plant sex is another factor that is likely to influence the outcomes of this ant–plant–herbivore interaction.

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Published online 14 September 2016
Explaining the distribution, structure and species composition of snow-patch vegetation in Tasmania, Australia 
Jared Parry, Jamie B. Kirkpatrick and Jon Marsden-Smedley

In Tasmania, snow does not usually persist over the winter outside 86 ha in 119 snow patches. There are five floristic communities in these patches, all being distinct from those in mainland Australian snow patches. The Tasmanian snow patches merit listing as a threatened ecosystem on the basis of their distinctiveness and restricted extent.

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Published online 12 September 2016
Seed dormancy and germination in different populations of the Argentinan endemic halophyte grass, Sporobolus phleoides (Poaceae: Chloridoideae) 
Geraldina Alicia Richard, María Carolina Cerino, José Francisco Pensiero and Juan Marcelo Zabala

Sporobolus phleoides is a potential resource for saline environments. Its seeds showed non-deep physiological dormancy, which was removed with puncturing treatments. Six different evaluated populations showed similar germination responses, especially when they were subjected to cold stratification. This factor appears to be determinant on seedling establishment in natural environments.

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Published online 05 September 2016
Cause and effects of a megafire in sedge-heathland in the Tasmanian temperate wilderness 
Ben J. French, Lynda D. Prior, Grant J. Williamson and David M. J. S. Bowman

Following cessation of Aboriginal land management, the temperate wilderness of south-western Tasmania has been burnt by infrequent, extensive wildfires, including in 2013. We surveyed the effects of this wildfire and found that it killed most woody vegetation in sedge-heathland. Fire severity was affected by time since previous fire, with the wildfire self-extinguishing near the boundary of a milder management fire set 2 years earlier. Our study demonstrated how prescribed burning can create landscape heterogeneity and limit megafires.

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Published online 05 September 2016
Differences in disturbance type and nutrient availability favour different functional traits across three co-occurring montane wetland systems in eastern Australia 
John T. Hunter

Resource allocation within montane wetlands was tested against nutrient, fire and disturbance frequency gradients. High nutrients and low disturbance favoured polycarpic species, large leaves and fruit. Low nutrients and moderate disturbance favoured woody polycarpy and larger seeds. Frequently inundation favoured soil stored diaspores and monocarpy with rapid vegetative growth.

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Published online 24 August 2016
Modeling the influence of snowfall on cyanobacterial crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert, northern China 
R. Hui, R. M. Zhao, L. C. Liu, G. Li, H. T. Yang, Y. H. Gao and X. Q. Wang

Little information is available regarding the influence of snowfall on BSCs in desert ecosystems. In this present study, we assessed the effects of snowfall on photosynthesis, moisture contents, and concentrations of soluble protein and malondialdehyde (MDA). On the basis of these analyses, we discussed the necessity and importance of snowfall for cyanobacterial crusts in desert regions.

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Published online 09 August 2016
Arsenic detoxification in two populations of Borreria verticillata (Rubiaceae) with differential tolerance to the metalloid 
Samara Arcanjo-Silva, Naiara V. Campos, Ivan Becari-Viana, Luzimar C. da Silva, Cleberson Ribeiro and Aristéa A. Azevedo

Water and soil pollution promotes environmental degradation and interferes with the fauna and flora, and pollutants such as arsenic (As) are toxic to most organisms. Plant populations that grow on polluted and unpolluted sites have differences in As-tolerance, and more efficient strategies to combat the toxic effects of the metalloid have been identified in plants from the contaminated site. The identification of As-tolerant plant species/populations allows for their use in the revegetation of areas contaminated with this element.

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blank image Australian Journal of Botany
Volume 64 Number 5 2016

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Ovule and megagametophyte development in selected species of Apeibeae and Grewieae (Malvaceae–Grewioideae) from South America and its systematic implications 
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Elsa Lattar , Beatriz Gloria Galati and María Silvia Ferrucci
pp. 369-376

The female gametophyte plays a critical role in every step of the reproductive process. Therefore, studies of the ovule and female gametophyte are important for understanding plant reproduction. The tissues and cells involved in the female gametophyte are not fully studied. In this work the embryological characters analysed will contribute to the interpretation of possible phylogenetic relationships within the group of studied plants.


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Using historic maps and citizen science to investigate the abundance and condition of survey reference ‘blaze' trees 
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Peter G. Spooner and Jake Shoard
pp. 377-388

Since the late 19th century, surveyors have blazed trees to mark out paddock corners and boundary alignments. We used historic maps and a citizen science approach to locate old survey reference trees, document the types that occur and assess the factors affecting their condition. Many trees were 140 years old and in poor condition, but they represent an important legacy to past land-use history. As a form of living heritage, many trees are now succumbing to the ravages of time.

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Anatomy and development of the reproductive units of Mapania pycnostachya and Hypolytrum schraderianum (Mapanioideae, Cyperaceae) 
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Mariana Maciel Monteiro , Vera Lúcia Scatena and Aline Oriani
pp. 389-400

The study of floral development and vasculature is important for understanding floral evolution. The present paper used new data on the structure of mapaniid (Cyperaceae) reproductive units based on developmental and vasculature analyses, to confirm the hypothesis that they are not single flowers but reduced inflorescences composed of unisexual flowers. Considering the few number of studies concerning the reproductive units of Mapanioideae, the present study helps shed light in the understanding of their structure and evolution in the subfamily.


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Overcoming physical seed dormancy in priority native species for use in arid-zone restoration programs 
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Todd E. Erickson , David J. Merritt and Shane R. Turner
pp. 401-416

Seed dormancy is prevalent in arid ecosystems and prevents germination when used in broadacre seeding programs. Physical dormancy, or ‘hard seededness’, in seeds from the Fabaceae and Malvaceae is commonly encountered. Wet heat promoted seed dormancy break more consistently than dry-heat treatments (e.g. 70-90°C in water, for 2 or 5 min). However, contrary to many pretreatment recommendations, viability loss was detected at temperatures >90°C for some species and should be avoided.

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Fire exclusion and soil texture interact to influence temperate grassland flora in south-eastern Australia 
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Claire Moxham , Josh Dorrough , Mick Bramwell and Brad J. Farmilo
pp. 417-426

Fire has a major influence on the structure and composition of temperate grasslands across the globe. Fire exclusion over a 10 year period led to declines in native species richness and abundance at two spatial scales. Furthermore, interactions between fire and soil texture influenced how grassland communities (individual species, origin and substrate) responded to fire; suggesting that underlying soil conditions should be considered in grassland fire management.

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Fire regime and vegetation change in the transition from Aboriginal to European land management in a Tasmanian eucalypt savanna 
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Louise M. Romanin , Feli Hopf , Simon G. Haberle and David M. J. S. Bowman
pp. 427-440

Examination of pollen and charcoal in freshwater lagoon sediments deposited over the last 600 years in the Midlands of Tasmania revealed that early 19th century European land-use disrupted an Aboriginal tradition of low intensity burning, established exotic woody and herbaceous plants, and caused population declines of some native plants. 

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Seed-germination responses of Calotropis procera (Asclepiadaceae) to temperature and water stress in northern Australia 
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E. O. Menge , S. M. Bellairs and M. J. Lawes
pp. 441-450

In northern Australia, dense infestations of rubber bush pose an increasing threat to sustainability of pasture production and plant biodiversity. Some aspects of its seed biology were studied. Rubber bush seeds are highly germinable and can germinate within 3 days, provided external conditions are favourable. This short germination time, particularly under high water stress, may ensure its successful establishment but also its continual invasion of the relatively drier regions of the Australian continent.


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Impact of heat on seed germination of three perennial grasses in the semiarid region in Central Argentina 
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Alicia G. Kin , Carla E. Suárez , Claudia C. Chirino , Patricia L. Ávila and Ernesto F. A. Morici
pp. 451-455

Fire is an important factor affecting the viability and germination of seeds in the soil seed bank. We evaluated the effects of heat on germination and seed viability of three native perennials winter grasses of central Argentina. Our results suggest that the current management recommendations for the use of controlled fire may not be optimal for the palatable species.


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Feeling the cold in a warming climate: differential effects of low temperatures on co-occurring eucalypts 
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George Matusick , Katinka X. Ruthrof , Jason Pitman and Giles E. St. J. Hardy
pp. 456-466

Climate change is causing temperature patterns to change, which can affect co-occurring tree species differently and lead to changes in vegetation communities. We assessed the effects of low temperatures on three Eucalyptus species and found that they have different susceptibilities to low temperatures. Despite warming temperatures regionally, extreme low-temperature events are occurring more frequently in parts of south-western Australia, which may cause communities to change over the long term.


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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.

    BT16105  Accepted 19 September 2016
    Whole-chloroplast analysis as an approach for fine-tuning the preservation of a highly charismatic but critically endangered species, Wollemia nobilis (Araucariaceae)
    Hannah McPherson, Abigail Greenfield, Tony Auld, Sven Delaney, Cathy Offord, Marlien van der Merwe, Samantha Yap, Maurizio Rossetto

    BT16128  Accepted 29 August 2016
    High nuclear genetic differentiation but low chloroplast diversity in a rare species, Aluta quadrata Myrtaceae, with a disjunct distribution in the Pilbara, Western Australia
    Margaret Byrne, David Coates, Bronwyn Macdonald, Maggie Hankinson, Shelley McArthur, Stephen van Leeuwen

    BT16049  Accepted 29 August 2016
    Promiscuous pollination of Australia’s baobab, the boab, Adansonia gregorii.
    Jordy Groffen, Gary Rethus, J Pettigrew

    BT15288  Accepted 28 August 2016
    Evaluation of Pseudoraphis spinescens (Poaceae) seed bank from Barmah Forest floodplain
    Rebecca Durant, Daryl Nielsen, Keith Ward

    BT16138  Accepted 28 August 2016
    Fire, people and ecosystem change in Pleistocene Australia
    Chris Johnson

    BT16065  Accepted 16 August 2016
    Half-topping ‘A4’ macadamia trees has a markedly different effect on yield than full-topping
    Trevor Olesen, David Robertson, Alister Janetzki, Tina Robertson

    BT16025  Accepted 12 August 2016
    Did early logging or changes in disturbance regimes promote high tree densities in river red gum forests?
    Hugh McGregor, Matthew Colloff, Ian Lunt


The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 23 February 2016
The Christmas tree project: comparing the effects of five treatments on the health of cut Christmas trees (Pinus radiata, Pinaceae)

Olyvea Akres, Isabella Cavallaro, Cynthia Cheng, Madison Dixon, Darcy Goddard, Tamara Hofbauer, Sidney Mahr, Taylor Mason, Lulu Miskin, Chloe Morgan, Eleanor Nettleton, Amelia Purseglove, Bella Rosenberg, Lucia Salgado, Jasmin Sardi, Emily Scarlis, Sophie Snyman, Isabella Spagnardi, Oona Swinson-Dulhunty, Lilla Szentmariay, Nikki Zimmerman, Angela T. Moles and Julia Cooke

2. Published 6 October 2015
Post-fire succession during the long-term absence of fire in coastal heathland and a test of the chronosequence survey method

Marc Freestone, Timothy J. Wills and Jennifer Read

3. Published 9 December 2015
Problems with using mean germination time to calculate rate of seed germination

Elias Soltani, Farshid Ghaderi-Far, Carol C. Baskin and Jerry M. Baskin

4. Published 6 October 2015
Recovery of treeless subalpine vegetation in Kosciuszko National Park after the landscape-scale fire of 2003

K. L. McDougall, N. G. Walsh and G. T. Wright

5. Published 23 May 2016
Impact of high-severity fire in a Tasmanian dry eucalypt forest

Lynda D. Prior, Grant J. Williamson and David M. J. S. Bowman

6. Published 9 December 2015
The mistletoe flora of southern Western Australia, with a particular reference to host relationships and fire

A. N. Start

7. Published 4 April 2016
Estimating density-dependent impacts of European rabbits on Australian tree and shrub populations

Greg Mutze, Brian Cooke and Scott Jennings

8. Published 23 February 2016
Hakea, the world’s most sclerophyllous genus, arose in southwestern Australian heathland and diversified throughout Australia over the past 12 million years

Byron B. Lamont, Tianhua He and Sim Lin Lim

9. Published 9 December 2015
Differences in seedling water-stress response of two co-occurring Banksia species

M. M. Holloway-Phillips, H. Huai, A. Cochrane and A. B. Nicotra

10. Published 6 October 2015
Grevillea (Proteaceae) seed coats contain inhibitors for seed germination

Xuanli Ma, Jingnan Guo, Xinyan Han and Guijun Yan

11. Published 15 August 2016
Fire regime and vegetation change in the transition from Aboriginal to European land management in a Tasmanian eucalypt savanna

Louise M. Romanin, Feli Hopf, Simon G. Haberle and David M. J. S. Bowman

12. Published 6 October 2015
Chromium and nickel accumulation in the macrophytes of the Kawasi wetland on Obi Island, North Maluku Province, Indonesia

R. Amin, M. Edraki, D. R. Mulligan and T. H. Gultom

13. Published 9 December 2015
Influence of seed dimorphism and provenance on seed morphology, dispersal, germination and seedling growth of Brachyscome ciliaris (Asteraceae)

Rina Aleman, Manfred Jusaitis, Joan Gibbs, Phillip Ainsley, Fleur Tiver and Sophie Petit

14. Published 15 August 2016
Using historic maps and citizen science to investigate the abundance and condition of survey reference ‘blaze' trees

Peter G. Spooner and Jake Shoard

15. Published 6 October 2015
Causes of infertility in the endangered Australian endemic plant Borya mirabilis (Boryaceae)

Noushka H. Reiter, Neville G. Walsh and Ann C. Lawrie

16. Published 9 December 2015
Moss and vascular epiphyte distributions over host tree and elevation gradients in Australian subtropical rainforest

Jennifer C. Sanger and James B. Kirkpatrick

17. Published 4 April 2016
Architecture of four tree species from different strata of a semideciduous forest in southern Brazil

Thaís M. Haddad, Mariana F. Hertel, Edmilson Bianchini and José A. Pimenta

18. Published 1 July 2016
Sufficient sample size to study seed germination

João Paulo Ribeiro-Oliveira, Marli A. Ranal, Denise Garcia de Santana and Leandro Alves Pereira

19. Published 23 February 2016
New evidence for mammal pollination of Protea species (Proteaceae) based on remote-camera analysis

K. C. Zoeller, S.-L. Steenhuisen, S. D. Johnson and J. J. Midgley

20. Published 15 September 2015
Pseudoraphis spinescens (Poaceae) grasslands at Barmah Forest, Victoria, Australia: current distribution and implications for floodplain conservation

L. M. Vivian, K. A. Ward, D. J. Marshall and R. C. Godfree

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