The physiological and growth response of subtropical Eucalypts to defoliation

Burned, dead tree. Photo: Sharyn Wragg

Description

This project examines the response of sub-tropical eucalypt species to repeated defoliation and water stress.

Investigations into the response of eucalypts to a single defoliation event have demonstrated an ability to maintain growth rates and/or increase rates of photosynthesis where less than 50% of the crown is removed. These investigations have focused on a handful of commercially important (plantation) species from temperate regions and one subgenera (Symphyomyrtus). It is unknown if the response to defoliation observed in these species is common to all Eucalypts, or if there is variation between species or subgenera. This project used glasshouse experiments to investigate the physiological and growth response of thirteen tropical and subtropical eucalypts, including non-commercial and commercial species and a range of subgenera (including Corymbia).

Some papers from the lab on this topic:

Alcorn, P. J., D. I. Forrester, D. S. Thomas, R. James, R. G. B. Smith, A. B. Nicotra and J. Bauhus (2013). "Changes in Whole-Tree Water Use Following Live-Crown Pruning in Young Plantation-Grown Eucalyptus pilularis and Eucalyptus cloeziana." Forests 4(1): 106-121.

Alcorn, P. J., D. I. Forrester, R. G. B. Smith, D. S. Thomas, R. N. James, A. B. Nicotra and J. Bauhus (2013). "Crown structure and vertical foliage distribution in 4-year-old plantation-grown Eucalyptus pilularis and Eucalyptus cloeziana." Trees-Structure and Function 27(3): 555-566.

Alcorn, P. J., D. I. Forrester, R. G. B. Smith, D. S. Thomas, R. James, A. B. Nicotra and J. Bauhus (2013). "The influence of site quality on timing of pruning in Eucalyptus pilularis and Eucalyptus cloeziana plantations." Australian Forestry 76(1): 25-36.

  • Alcorn PJ, Bauhus J, Thomas DS, James RN, Smith RGB, Nicotra AB (2008) Photosynthetic response to green crown pruning in young plantation-grown Eucalyptus pilularis and E-cloeziana. Forest Ecology and Management 255(11), 3827-3838.
  • Alcorn PJ, Bauhus J, Smith RGB, Thomas D, James R, Nicotra A (2008) Growth response following green crown pruning in plantation-grown Eucalyptus pilularis and Eucalyptus cloeziana. Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne De Recherche Forestiere 38(4), 770-781.
  • Alcorn PJ, Pyttel P, Bauhus J, Smith RGB, Thomas D, James R, Nicotra A (2007) Effects of initial planting density on branch development in 4-year-old plantation grown Eucalyptus pilularis and Eucalyptus cloeziana trees. Forest Ecology and Management 252(1-3), 41-51.

Updated:  29 April 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB