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Title: Differences in disturbance type and nutrient availability favour different functional traits across three co-occurring montane wetland systems in eastern Australia
Contributor(s): Hunter, John T  (author)
Publication Date: 2016
DOI: 10.1071/bt16021
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Abstract: Three co-occurring temperate montane non-riparian freshwater wetland communities of the New England Batholith of eastern Australia were chosen to test differences in resource allocation to select functional traits. Each of the wetlands was tested against inferred gradients of nutrient availability, fire and disturbance frequency. Collated functional trait data on 563 native vascular plant taxa known to occur in bogs, fens and lagoons were used against a centrally weighted means redundancy analysis. Traits included life form, plant height, leaf area, fruit size, seed size, mono- or polycarpy, storage organs, fruit type, vegetative spread and geographic range size. Where disturbances were moderate to low in frequency and habitats persistent, tolerance and in-situ permanence traits were favoured. With high nutrient availability and a low disturbance regime polycarpic species with large leaves that allow for larger fruit development were more common. Under low nutrient availability and a moderate disturbance regime, persistence was shifted to a longer lived polycarpic life history that includes woody taxa with increased seed size and a greater diversity of fruit types. In frequently inundated habitats, with shifting windows of available habitats, avoidance was the best strategy. Here persistence shifts to long-lived soil stored diaspores and a monocarpic life history with rapid vegetative growth to capture above ground spatial resource within temporary habitats.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Botany, 64(6), p. 526-529
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Clayton, Australia
ISSN: 0067-1924
Field of Research (FOR): 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
060799 Plant Biology not elsewhere classified
060204 Freshwater Ecology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
960810 Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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