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Reproductive ecology of invasive Ochna serrulata (Ochnaceae) in south-eastern Queensland

Gosper, C.R. and Vivian-Smith, G. and Hoad, K. (2006) Reproductive ecology of invasive Ochna serrulata (Ochnaceae) in south-eastern Queensland. Australian Journal of Botany, 54 (1). pp. 43-52.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT05033

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au/

Abstract

We investigated aspects of the reproductive ecology of Ochna serrulata (Hochst.) Walp., an invasive plant in eastern Australia. O. serrulata drupes were similar in size to fleshy fruits of other local invasive plants, but showed some distinct differences in quality, with a very high pulp lipid content (32.8% of dry weight), and little sugar and water. Seeds were dispersed by figbirds, Sphecotheres viridis Vieillot, a locally abundant frugivore, and comprised between 10 and 50% of all non-Ficus spp. fruit consumed during October and November. The rate of removal of O. serrulata drupes was greater in bushland than suburban habitats, indicating that control in bushland habitats should be a priority, but also that suburban habitats are likely to act as significant seed sources for reinvasion of bushland. Germination occurred under all seed-processing treatments (with and without pulp, and figbird gut passage), suggesting that although frugivores are important for dispersal, they are not essential for germination. Recruitment of buried and surface-sown seed differed between greenhouse and field experiments, with minimal recruitment of surface-sown seed in the field. Seed persistence was low, particularly under field conditions, with 0.75% seed viability after 6 months and 0% at 12 months. This provides an opportunity to target control efforts in south-eastern Queensland in spring before fruit set, when there is predicted to be few viable seeds in the soil.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© CSIRO Publishing.
Keywords:Ochna serrulata; reproductive ecology; seed dispersal; germination; recruitment; seed persistence; weed control.
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Weed ecology
Science > Botany > Plant ecology
Deposited On:22 Oct 2009 01:01
Last Modified:10 Jun 2011 00:52

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