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Gettysburg College

Publication Date

Spring 2008

Program Name

Australia: Sustainability and the Environment

Abstract

There have been many efforts to regenerate the threatened and declining dry eucalypt forests found within the Midlands of Tasmania. This pilot study was completed as part of a larger research project on eucalypt regeneration. Researchers need to know where recruits are most successful in order to appropriately place regeneration microsites. I have begun characterizing the baseline demography of a recently burnt remnant forest. I had two objectives: 1. to characterize the stand structure where recruits are successful, and 2. to describe where the recruits are within this structure. Data on location, size, and life history stage of trees were collected in 12 study sites in a recently burnt, dry eucalypt forest. The data were analyzed using statistics on density, percent canopy cover, tree height, and basal area. A nearest neighbor analysis was executed to determine the effects of competition on the spatial distribution of Eucalyptus spp. Finally, an additive zone of influence analysis was used to relate the location of successful recruits to the overstorey adults. Canopy coverage and the additive effect of zone of influence were the most important predictors of the location of successful recruits. Most successful recruits were found in study sites with relatively low canopy cover and in areas where the overlap between adult zones of influence was minimal. Compared to saplings, the location of lignotuberous sprouts was better correlated with these areas of minimal overlap. My findings suggest that while competition has an influence on spatial distribution, other underlying factors are also important in shaping stand structure and determining successful recruitment.

Disciplines

Forest Biology | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy

 

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