Leaf, tree and soil properties in a Eucalyptus saligna forest exhibiting canopy decline

  • The extent of eucalypt decline in moist coastal forests of south-eastern Australia is increasing with resultant losses in biodiversity and productivity. This survey aimed to identify factors associated with the decline of Eucalyptus saligna (Sydney Blue Gum) in Cumberland State Forest, a moist sclerophyll forest within urban Sydney. Eucalyptus saligna was the dominant overstorey species in six 20 m radius plots, which differed in floristic composition, structure and crown condition. One plot was colonised by bell miners (Manorina melanophrys). A range of leaf, tree and plot scale parameters were assessed including insect damage and free amino acid content, visual crown condition, floristics and soil chemistry. The plot permanently colonised by bell miners also had Eucalyptus saligna trees in the poorest condition. Both the weed Lantana camara and the soil pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi were present in some of the plots but neither was strongly consistent with the severity of crown decline. There were, however, significant correlations among the foliar traits of insect damage, free amino acid content and relative chlorophyll content. Free amino acid content differed significantly between leaf age cohorts. Plots differed notably in topsoil organic matter and soil nitrogen, but the plot with the poorest visual crown condition score had intermediate mean values for both soil properties within the ranges presented by the six plots. Overall, crown condition score was weakly negatively correlated with topsoil organic carbon and total nitrogen content. The unhealthiest plot also had the highest density of shrubby understorey. Site factors that could influence both the quantity and quality of foliage (e.g. free amino acid content) in eucalypt crowns, and hence the population dynamics of herbivorous insects and bell miners, are discussed in relation to Eucalyptus saligna crown decline.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Christine Stone, Jack A. Simpson
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2013/07/18
Year of first Publication:2006
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/07/18
Page Number:14
First Page:507
Last Page:520
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia / Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia, Volume 9, Issue 4 (2006)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht