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Comparative growth and biomass allocation of two varieties of cat's claw creeper, Dolichandra unguis-cati (Bignoniaceae) in Australia

Taylor, D. B. J. and Dhileepan, K. (2012) Comparative growth and biomass allocation of two varieties of cat's claw creeper, Dolichandra unguis-cati (Bignoniaceae) in Australia. Australian Journal of Botany, 60 (7). pp. 650-659. ISSN 00671924 (ISSN)

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT12117

Abstract

Introduced as an ornamental vine, cat's claw creeper Dolichandra unguis-cati (syn. Macfadyena unguis-cati) has invaded coastal and subcoastal areas of subtropical eastern Australia. Two varieties have been indentified, one of which ('short-pod') is found throughout south-eastern Australia, while the other ('long-pod') appears to be restricted to several sites in south-eastern Queensland. We compared the growth and biomass allocation patterns of the two varieties in the field over a 22-month period to determine if a higher growth rate and/or more efficient allocation of biomass may contribute to this disparity in distribution. The long-pod variety produced greater aboveground and total biomass than the short-pod variety in both riparian and non-riparian zones. Belowground the two varieties produced a similar number of tubers and overall biomass, though the long-pod variety allocated a smaller portion of its carbon belowground. High growth rates and greater biomass allocation aboveground are characteristic of invasive species, allowing them to outcompete and crowd out existing vegetation. There was no significant site by variety interaction, an indication of consistency in variety performance across riparian and non-riparian sites. Results from our study suggest that differences in growth and biomass allocations are unlikely to have contributed to the disparity in distribution of the two varieties. Despite currently occupying a relatively small range, the long-pod variety may be a more adept invader than the short-pod variety, and could become more prevalent in the future. © 2012 CSIRO.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:biological characteristics biological invasion biomass allocation comparative study competitive ability growth rate invasive species ornamental species range expansion spatial distribution vine Australia Bignoniaceae Dolichandra Macfadyena unguis-cati
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants
Deposited On:28 Oct 2013 02:09
Last Modified:28 Oct 2013 02:09

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