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Population ecology of Banksia saxicola (Proteaceae)

Middleton, N.D., Ladiges, P.Y. and Enright, N.J. (1996) Population ecology of Banksia saxicola (Proteaceae). Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 108 (1). pp. 43-56.

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Banksia saxicola A. S. George is a rare species with a disjunct distribution, at Wilsons Promontory National Park and the Grampians National Park, Victoria. Phenetic classification and ordination analyses using 13 leaf, inflorescence and infructescence characters, indicated that population differences are present but individual plants do not exclusively group into geographically isolated populations. Plants from Mt William (Grampians) are different from those at Wilsons Promontory, but those from Mt Rosea (Grampians) overlap with both of these populations. Leaf flavonoid analysis revealed minor differences between Grampians and Wilsons Prom ontory populations, with the latter being intermediate between B. integrifolia and Grampians B. saxicola.

Germination of seed extracted from 1, 2-3 and >3 year old infructescences varied from 15-35% at 50 days. Seed from Wilsons Promontory had the highest germination rate. Cold stratification of seed only promoted germination of seed > 3 years of age from Mt William. Banksia saxicola, from Wilsons Promontory, had the highest level of serotiny, although more seed was stored per plant at Mt William due to greater fecundity. Granivory of canopy stored seed was highest at Wilsons Promontory.

At the Grampians, B. saxicola is locally common, plants are generally healthy, and spontaneous seed release together with favourable environmental conditions, have allowed populations to regenerate in the absence of fire. At Wilsons Promontory, however, plants are less abundant, and with no regeneration in the last 19 years the population is aging. For continued existence of B. saxicola at Wilsons Promontory, conservation management strategies need to include burning.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Royal Society of Victoria
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