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Early differential responses of co-dominant canopy species to sudden and severe drought in a mediterranean-climate type forest

Ruthrof, K.X., Matusick, G. and Hardy, G.E.St.J. (2015) Early differential responses of co-dominant canopy species to sudden and severe drought in a mediterranean-climate type forest. Forests, 6 (6). pp. 2082-2091.

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Abstract

Globally, drought and heat-induced forest disturbance is garnering increasing concern. Species from Mediterranean forests have resistance and resilience mechanisms to cope with drought and differences in these ecological strategies will profoundly influence vegetation composition in response to drought. Our aim was to contrast the early response of two co-occurring forest species, Eucalyptus marginata and Corymbia calophylla, in the Northern Jarrah Forest of southwestern Australia, following a sudden and severe drought event. Forest plots were monitored for health and response, three and 16 months following the drought. Eucalyptus marginata was more susceptible to partial and complete crown dieback compared to C. calophylla, three months after the drought. However, resprouting among trees exhibiting complete crown dieback was similar between species. Overall, E. marginata trees were more likely to die from the impacts of drought, assessed at 16 months. These short-term differential responses to drought may lead to compositional shifts with increases in frequency of drought events in the future.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2015 by the authors.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/27695
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