Open Access Repository

Growth and survival of two north Australian relictual tree species, Allosyncarpia ternata (Myrtaceae) and Callitris intratropica (Cupressaceae)

Prior, LD, Bowman, DMJS and Brook, BW 2007 , 'Growth and survival of two north Australian relictual tree species, Allosyncarpia ternata (Myrtaceae) and Callitris intratropica (Cupressaceae)' , Ecological Research, vol. 22 , pp. 228-236 , doi:

[img] PDF
4014.pdf | Request a copy
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


Allosyncarpia ternata (an angiosperm) and
Callitris intratropica (a gymnosperm) are two fire-sensitive
tree species of the Australian monsoonal tropics.
Studies using historical aerial photography have revealed
recent expansion of A. ternata rainforests. There
has simultaneously been a widespread collapse of
C. intratropica populations in northern Australian savannas,
presumably because of cessation of traditional
Aboriginal landscape burning. To explain the demography
behind these contrasting trends, stand structure,
survival, and growth of the two species were recorded
over a 16-year period at the boundary of a rainforest
patch and also in adjacent savanna, in Kakadu National
Park. Ages of the largest trees of each species, estimated
by using a Bayesian analysis of tree-diameter increments,
were approximately 433 years for A. ternata and
235 years for C. intratropica on the rainforest boundary,
and 417 years for C. intratropica in the adjacent
savanna. Densities of juveniles (seedlings and resprouts
<0.5 m high) were 325–6,000 times higher for
A. ternata than for C. intratropica. Life-table calculations
indicated there was sufficient recruitment of
A. ternata, but not C. intratropica, to overcome observed
mortality rates and maintain a stable population. This is
almost certainly because A. ternata re-sprouts prolifically
after fire whereas C. intratropica is an obligate
seeder. These results highlight the critical need for
careful fire management to maintain populations of a
characteristic Australian gymnosperm over much of its

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Prior, LD and Bowman, DMJS and Brook, BW
Keywords: Survival Recruitment Seasonal tropics Growth rate Tropical tree
Journal or Publication Title: Ecological Research
Publisher: Springer Japan KK
ISSN: 0912-3814
DOI / ID Number:
Additional Information:

The original publication is available at

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page