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Type: Journal article
Title: Survivorship of seedlings of false sandalwood (Myoporum platycarpum) in the chenopod rangelands grazed by sheep, kangaroos and rabbits at Whyalla, South Australia
Author: Tiver, F.
Kiermeier, A.
Citation: Austral Ecology: a journal of ecology in the Southern Hemisphere, 2006; 31(3):376-387
Publisher: Blackwell Science Asia
Issue Date: 2006
ISSN: 1442-9985
Abstract: Myoporum platycarpum R. Br. (Myoporaceae) is widely distributed through semi-arid New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria, where it occurs as an upper-storey dominant or co-dominant tree over chenopod shrublands. Previous studies have concluded that the seedlings and juveniles of many shrubs and trees, including M. platycarpum, are selectively grazed by sheep and rabbits, which threatens their long-term survival in rangelands. The aim of this study was to assess the survivorship of M. platycarpum seedlings grazed by sheep and rabbits in a rangeland setting. Seedlings of M. platycarpum were raised in the greenhouse and planted in the field and individually fenced to allow or prevent access by various herbivores. Over 1 year, the frequency of grazing and size of canopy was recorded. A flexible mixed model incorporating cubic smoothing splines was used to describe the relationship between change in canopy volume over time, fixed effects (exclosure type, time, rainfall and egesta weights) and random variability among plants, replicates and sites. The mixed models showed that there were no significant differences in canopy volume over time between sheep and rabbit-proof exclosures, indicating that rabbits were not significantly affecting the seedlings, browsing only five of those available to them, of which three survived. Large herbivores (sheep and/or kangaroos) grazed un-caged seedlings, resulting in significantly smaller canopy volumes, and higher death rates (80%). Although supplementary irrigation was applied, background losses due to desiccation in caged seedlings were up to 50%.
Keywords: desiccation
population dynamics
DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2006.01566.x
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Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications
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