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Title: Germination ecology of six species of 'Eucalyptus' in shrink-swell vertosols: moisture, seed depth and seed size limit seedling emergence
Contributor(s): Ruiz Talonia, Lorena (author); Reid, Nick (author)orcid ; Gross, Caroline L (author)orcid ; Whalley, Ralph D (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2017
DOI: 10.1071/BT16155
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Abstract: We examined the potential of direct-seeding 'Eucalyptus' species to revegetate the vertosol ('cracking clay') soils that characterise the floodplains of north-western New South Wales. We investigated the influence of sowing depth (0, 6, 12 and 20 mm) and three soil-moisture scenarios (dry, moist and flooded) on seedling emergence of seedlings of six species of 'Eucalyptus' with a range of seed sizes ('E. blakelyi', 'E. camaldulensis', 'E. melanophloia', 'E. melliodora', 'E. pilligaensis' and 'E. populnea'). We used cracking clay soil from the region in a glasshouse environment. Seedling emergence was low despite high seed viability and provision of optimum temperatures and soil moisture conditions. All six species exhibited greatest emergence when sown at 0-6-mm depth, with seed size being less important than moisture (except under dry conditions) and proximity to the surface. Species responded differently to the three watering treatments. 'Eucalyptus melanophloia' exhibited greatest emergence in the 'dry' watering treatment. The floodplain species, 'E. camaldulensis', 'E pilliganesis' and 'E. populnea', had the greatest emergence under flood conditions. 'Eucalyptus blakelyi' and 'E. melliodora' exhibited intermediate emergence in relation to all three soil-moisture regimes. Although the direct seeding of these species in vertosol soils in the region may be successful on occasion, windows of opportunity will be infrequent and the planting of seedling tubestock will be more reliable for revegetation.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Botany, 65(1), p. 22-30
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 0067-1924
Field of Research (FOR): 050207 Environmental Rehabilitation (excl Bioremediation)
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
050209 Natural Resource Management
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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