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Ecophysiology of species with distinct leaf morphologies: effects of plastic and shadecloth tree guards

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Close, DC and Ruthof, KX and Turner, S and Rokich, DP and Dixon, KW (2007) Ecophysiology of species with distinct leaf morphologies: effects of plastic and shadecloth tree guards. Restoration Ecology. ISSN 1061-2971

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Abstract

Ecological restoration using seedling tubestock is challenging
under a Mediterranean-type climate of hot, dry
summers. We investigated the ecophysiological effects of
plastic tree guards and shadecloth tree guards during seedling
establishment of four co-occurring tree species that
differ in leaf morphology. Average temperature was 6.7C
higher in plastic guards than controls over a summer, with
a maximum of 53.5C compared to 47.9C in controls.
Light levels were 2-fold lower in both tree guard treatments
relative to control. In spring, photosynthesis and
specific leaf area were significantly elevated in shadecloth
tree guards relative to other treatments. In summer,
photosynthetic rate was significantly lower, and midday
photochemical efficiency was significantly higher, in both
tree guard treatments relative to controls. The effect of
elevated temperature in plastic tree guards may partially
explain our results of higher mortality of seedling in plastic
tree guards. The relatively elevated spring photosynthesis
of seedlings in shadecloth tree guards may partially
explain the result of reduced mortality and increased
growth in this treatment. We conclude that shadecloth
tree guards create a microclimate more favorable for seedling
establishment in a Mediterranean-type environment
than plastic tree guards and control treatments. Our results
may have wide applicability to the range of restoration
settings where seedling tubestock is planted, except in
environments where low temperature is limiting to plant
growth.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: eucalypt, leaf morphology, photosynthesis, seedling establishment, tree guard.
Journal or Publication Title: Restoration Ecology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN: 1061-2971
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2007.00330.x
Additional Information:

published on online.

The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:45
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:36
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