Demographics of Eucalyptus grandis and implications for invasion

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dc.contributor.author Musengi, K.
dc.contributor.author Archibald, S.
dc.date.accessioned 2017-10-09T13:18:59Z
dc.date.available 2017-10-09T13:18:59Z
dc.date.issued 2017-03
dc.identifier.citation Musengi, K. and Archibald, S. 2017. Demographics of Eucalyptus grandis and implications for invasion. Koedoe 59(1), Article number a1437. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2071-0771 (Online)
dc.identifier.issn 0075-6458 (Print)
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/23242
dc.description.abstract Alien invasive species can have negative impacts on the functioning of ecosystems. Plantation species such as pines have become serious invaders in many parts of the world, but eucalypts have not been nearly as successful invaders. This is surprising considering that in their native habitat they dominate almost all vegetation types. Available theory on the qualities that characterise invasive species was used to assess the invasive potential of Eucalyptus grandis - a common plantation species globally. To determine rates of establishment of E. grandis outside plantations, we compared population demographics and reproductive traits at two locations in Mpumalanga, South Africa: one at higher elevation with more frost. Eucalyptus grandis has a short generation time. We found no evidence that establishment of E. grandis was limiting its spread into native grassland vegetation, but it does appear that recruitment is limited by frost and fire over much of its range in Mpumalanga. Populations at both study locations this played characteristics of good recruitment. Size class distributions showed definite bottlenecks to recruitment which were more severe when exposed to frost at higher elevations. Generally, the rate of spread is low suggesting that the populations are on the establishing populations’ invasion stage. This research gives no indication that there are any factors that would prevent eucalyptus from becoming invasive in the future, and the projected increase in winter temperatures should be a cause for concern as frost is currently probably slowing recruitment of E. grandis across much of its planted range. Conservation implications: Eucalyptus plantations occur within indigenous grasslands that are of high conservation value. Frost and fire can slow recruitment where they occur, but there are no obvious factors that would prevent E. grandis from becoming invasive in the future, and monitoring of its rates of spread is recommended. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher AOSIS OpenJournals Publishing AOSIS (Pty) Ltd en_ZA
dc.rights © 2017. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject demography en_ZA
dc.subject grassland en_ZA
dc.subject introduced species en_ZA
dc.subject invasive species en_ZA
dc.subject plant en_ZA
dc.subject recruitment (population dynamics) en_ZA
dc.subject species conservation en_ZA
dc.subject vegetation type en_ZA
dc.subject Mpumalanga en_ZA
dc.subject South Africa en_ZA
dc.subject Eucalyptus en_ZA
dc.subject Eucalyptus grandis en_ZA
dc.title Demographics of Eucalyptus grandis and implications for invasion en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA
dc.journal.volume 59 en_ZA
dc.journal.title KOEDOE en_ZA
dc.description.librarian EM2017 en_ZA
dc.citation.doi DOI: 10.4102/koedoe.v59i1.1437 en_ZA
dc.citation.issue 1 en_ZA


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