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Climate change and other factors influencing the decline of the Tasmanian cider gum (Eucalyptus gunii)


Calder, J and Kirkpatrick, JB, Climate change and other factors influencing the decline of the Tasmanian cider gum (Eucalyptus gunii), Australian Journal of Botany, 56, (8) pp. 684-692. ISSN 0067-1924 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/BT08105


Global climatic change has been strongly implicated in the decline of many species. However, other processes can contribute towards the extinction risk of these species. Could management of these processes arrest or slow climatically related decline? We test the relationship between climate change, and other potential threatening factors, and the decline of Eucalyptus gunnii, a tree endemic to the subalpine regions of Tasmania, Australia. Through observing the spatial patterns of both climatic change and dieback, we found there was a stronger pattern of increasing droughts in the eastern part of the species range, the region which also displayed the worst dieback. A time series of aerial photographs revealed that the most severe drought periods in the last several decades have coincided with the most rapid tree decline. However, the sites that suffered the worst dieback were also more heavily used for stock grazing, a factor which had a stronger spatial relationship with tree decline than climate. Other factors were also implicated in the decline, including possum browsing. The good health of some populations in the most climatically stressed areas suggests that the amelioration of non-climatic stresses could be effective in maintaining the health of the surviving populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Climate change; Tree decline; <i>Eucalyptus gunii</i>; Browsing
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Calder, J (Ms Jennifer Calder)
UTAS Author:Kirkpatrick, JB (Professor James Kirkpatrick)
ID Code:54323
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2009-02-17
Last Modified:2014-12-17

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