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Dependence of bryophyte species on young, mature and old growth wet eucalypt forest


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Turner, PAM, Kirkpatrick, JB and Pharo, EJ 2011 , 'Dependence of bryophyte species on young, mature and old growth wet eucalypt forest' , Biological Conservation, vol. 144, No. 12 , pp. 2951-2957 , doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.08.016.

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Maintenance of old growth forest has been argued to be important for the future of many bryophyte species,
but there has been no empirical test of this proposition. Bryophytes constitute much of the plant biodiversity
in Tasmanian tall open-forests dominated by Eucalyptus regnans and Eucalyptus obliqua. These
forests have a low level of protection in their old growth stage. We ask whether if there is a concentration
of bryophyte species in particular forest age classes and assess its significance for biological conservation.
The bryophyte species at 99 forest sites were recorded and related to young, mature and old growth age
classes using ANOVA. Only two bryophyte taxa were confined, with statistical confidence, to one of these
classes. Succession in bryophyte assemblages takes the relay floristics form, with a few highly frequent
species in the young forest, most of which do not persist in later stages, a large number of species establishing
in middle-aged forests, some dying out with their short-lived hosts by the time of the old growth
forest stage, and liverworts becoming more prominent with age. Species concentrated in the old growth
phase of these eucalypt forests have all been recorded from secure reserves in this and other vegetation
types. If present patterns of land use continue, and no extensive wild fires occur in the reserved old
growth forest, almost all bryophyte species of E. regnans and E. obliqua mixed forest are likely to survive.
This may not be the case in other regions of the world, where reservation may be poorer than in

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Turner, PAM and Kirkpatrick, JB and Pharo, EJ
Journal or Publication Title: Biological Conservation
ISSN: 0006-3207
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.08.016
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