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Nursery conditions affect seedling chemistry, morphology and herbivore preferences for Eucalyptus nitens


McArthur, C and Marsh, NR and Close, DC and Walsh, A and Paterson, SC and Fitzgerald, H and Davies, NW, Nursery conditions affect seedling chemistry, morphology and herbivore preferences for Eucalyptus nitens, Forest Ecology and Management, 176, (1-3) pp. 585-594. ISSN 0378-1127 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S0378-1127(02)00315-8


We examined intraspecific variation in leaf chemistry and seedling morphology of Eucalyptus nitens grown under three different nursery conditions, and compared these with preferences of two species of marsupial herbivore: red-bellied pademelons, Thylogale billardierii, and common brushtail possums, Trichosurus vulpecula. Chemical and morphological variation with nursery treatment reflected variation in light and nitrogen limitation to seedlings. This variation is discussed in terms of the carbon-nutrient balance hypothesis. The most resource-limited seedlings had the lowest biomass and nitrogen level, but highest specific leaf area, lignin:leaf area ratio, gallotannin:nitrogen ratio and sideroxylonal levels. Both pademelons and possums preferred these resource-limited seedlings least. Possums showed greater discrimination than pademelons for the two other nursery treatments, indicating differences in the two species' responses to seedling characteristics. Results show that environmental variation in nursery growing conditions has potential in reducing palatability to seedlings, and hence browsing damage, in plantation forestry. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Forestry management and environment
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Hardwood plantations
UTAS Author:McArthur, C (Dr Clare McArthur)
UTAS Author:Close, DC (Professor Dugald Close)
UTAS Author:Paterson, SC (Mr Stephen Paterson)
UTAS Author:Fitzgerald, H (Mr Hugh Fitzgerald)
UTAS Author:Davies, NW (Associate Professor Noel Davies)
ID Code:27883
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Central Science Laboratory
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2004-06-16

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