A Wide diversity of epicormic structures is present in Myrtaceae species in the northern Australian savanna biome implications for adaptation to fire

Burrows, San Hornby, D A Walters, Sean Bellairs, Lynda Prior, David Bowman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Recent research has shown that the eucalypts of southern Australia have an unusual and apparently fire-adapted epicormic structure. By studying a range of myrtaceous species from northern Australia we hoped to determine if this structure was also present in northern eucalypts. We anatomically examined the epicormic structures from 21 myrtaceous species in 11 genera from the north of the Northern Territory, Australia. An extremely wide diversity of epicormic structures was found, ranging from buds absent, buds at or near the bark surface, to bud-forming meristems in the innermost bark. These Myrtaceae species displayed a far greater variation in epicormic structure than recorded in any other family. This is possibly a reflection of the importance of the resprouter strategy, a long fire history in Australia and the ecological diversification of the Myrtaceae. Nonetheless, all the investigated eucalypts (northern and southern) possessed the same specialised, apparently fire-adapted, epicormic structure. This is remarkably consistent given the taxonomic, geographical and morphological diversity of the eucalypts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)493-507
    Number of pages15
    JournalAustralian Journal of Botany
    Volume58
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2010

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Wide diversity of epicormic structures is present in Myrtaceae species in the northern Australian savanna biome implications for adaptation to fire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this