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The eucalypt forest-grassland/grassy woodland boundary in central Tasmania.

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Fensham, RJ and Kirkpatrick, JB (1992) The eucalypt forest-grassland/grassy woodland boundary in central Tasmania. Australian Journal of Botany, 40 (2). pp. 123-138. ISSN 0067-1924

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Abstract

Downslope boundaries of forest with grassland and grassy woodland occur over a wide altitudinal range in central Tasmania. Three sites were selected for study of the causes of these boundaries at low, medium and high elevations. The open vegetation was generally associated with moister and less rocky soils and more subdued topography than the adjacent forest. Frost incidence and intensity, soil moisture and waterlogging varied markedly among the three open areas. Planted tree seedlings survived 4 years in the open at all sites, and seedlings established in the open both naturally, and after sowing, where grass competition was reduced by herbicide application, digging or root competition from adult eucalypts. Grazing had no detectable effect on seedling establishment. A pot experiment demonstrated a suppressive effect of native grass swards on both seedling establishment and growth, this effect being largely independent of available moisture and nutrients. While frost, waterlogging, fire and drought may play a role in inhibiting eucalypt establishment and increasing eucalypt mortality at some or all of the sites, the dense grass swards found in all the open areas are considered to be the most likely primary agent of tree exclusion.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Botany
Page Range: pp. 123-138
ISSN: 0067-1924
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1071/BT9920123
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2007 22:15
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:26
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/2699
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