eCite Digital Repository

What limits the distribution and abundance of the native conifer Callitris glaucophylla (Cupressaceae) in the West MacDonnell Ranges, central Australia?


Prior, LD and Lee, ZE and Brock, C and Williamson, G and Bowman, DMJS, What limits the distribution and abundance of the native conifer Callitris glaucophylla (Cupressaceae) in the West MacDonnell Ranges, central Australia?, Australian Journal of Botany, 58, (7) pp. 554-564. ISSN 0067-1924 (2010) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2010 CSIRO

Official URL:

DOI: doi:10.1071/BT10045


The conifer Callitris glaucophylla J.Thompson & L.A.S.Johnson (Cupressaceae) is a fire-sensitive obligate seeder with a heavily fragmented distribution across the Australian continent.Weundertook a broad-scale biophysical survey and analysed the population structure of 21 populations in the West MacDonnell Ranges of central Australia. C. glaucophylla had a patchy distribution associated with steep, rocky metamorphic areas with limited evidence of fire. Variation in population structures was clearly related to recent fire history. Nearly half of Ďadultí C. glaucophylla trees (>5-cm stem diameter) from the sampled stands were dead, with the proportion at individual sites related to evidence of fire. Fire scars were evident on 48% of all live trees we measured. The overall density of live adult trees conformed to a negative exponential sizeclass distribution, consistent with a regionally stable population structure. However, we found higher sapling densities and lower seedlings densities than expected by this distribution. This regional peak in the sapling size class reflects a pulse of recruitment, possibly associated with a wet period in the 1970s. Low seedling densities are probably due to subsequent drought. We conclude that fire controls the distribution of Callitris on the West MacDonnell Ranges, and the timing of recruitment depends on rainfall patterns.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Prior, LD (Dr Lynda Prior)
UTAS Author:Lee, ZE (Ms Zoe Lee)
UTAS Author:Williamson, G (Dr Grant Williamson)
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:66871
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2011-02-16
Last Modified:2011-05-12
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page