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The impact of flower density and irrigation on capsule and seed set in Eucalyptus globulus seed orchards

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Suitor, S and Potts, BM and Brown, PH and Gracie, AJ and Rix, KD and Gore, PL (2010) The impact of flower density and irrigation on capsule and seed set in Eucalyptus globulus seed orchards. New Forests, 39 (1). pp. 117-127. ISSN 0169-4286

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Abstract

Low capsule set is a major factor limiting the productivity of Eucalyptus globulus seed orchards. This study tested the effect of flower density, as well as two common irrigation techniques on capsule and seed set. Ramets with high flower density had significantly lower capsule set (69.7%) than those with low flower density (81.7%). In a regulated deficit irrigation trial, the non-irrigated ramets set a higher proportion of capsules (63.6%) than the ramets that received conventional irrigation (CI) (51.4%). In a partial root zone drying (PRD) trial, capsule set was highest in the absence of irrigation (74.7%) followed by the PRD treatment (67.8%) and then CI (53.7%). The CI treatment tended to produce the highest number of seed per capsule. Increased water availability resulted in increased vegetative growth, which was associated with higher levels of abortion in developing capsules but those surviving tended to have higher seed set. It is argued that the observed effects of irrigation and flower density can be explained by resource competition between vegetative and reproductive growth as well as competition among reproductive structures themselves.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Eucalyptus globulus, Capsule set, Seed set, Reproductive success, Partial root zone drying (PRD) and regulated deficit irrigation (RDI)
Journal or Publication Title: New Forests
Page Range: pp. 117-127
ISSN: 0169-4286
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1007/s11056-009-9159-2
Additional Information: The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2009 00:08
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:06
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/9369
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