Recruitment dynamics of the long-lived obligate seeders Callitris intratropica (Cupressaceae) and Petraeomyrtus punicea (Myrtaceae)

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    Abstract

    The fire-prone sandstone Arnhem Plateau is recognised as an international centre of plant species diversity. Key regional long-lived obligate seeders include the coniferous tree Callitris intratropica R.T.Baker & H.G.Smith, and the endemic myrtaceous, serotinous shrub Petraeomyrtus punicea (Byrnes) Craven. The paper reports a 6year study of seedling-recruitment dynamics in natural stands of both species. For C. intratropica, it was found that (1) contrary to other published observations, initial growth was slow, with juveniles taking ?10 years to attain 2-m height, (2) maturation substantially exceeds 10 years and (3) previously unreported, even juveniles may occasionally resprout following very low-intensity fires after 100% scorch. For P. punicea, (1) maturation in some individuals commences as early as 4 years but generally takes at least 1-2 years longer and (2) juveniles (as well as adults) are killed following 100% scorch. The results emphasise the need for management-imposed fire regimes dominated by patchy, low-intensity fires for conservation of regional long-lived obligate seeders. � CSIRO 2006.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)479-485
    Number of pages7
    JournalAustralian Journal of Botany
    Volume54
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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