Spatial pattern of dry rainforest colonizing unburnt Eucalyptus savanna
Article first published online: 2 APR 2004
Volume 29, Issue 2, pages 121–128, April 2004
How to Cite
Fensham, R. J. and Butler, D. W. (2004), Spatial pattern of dry rainforest colonizing unburnt Eucalyptus savanna. Austral Ecology, 29: 121–128. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2003.01318.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 2 APR 2004
- Accepted for publication May 2003.
- dry rainforest;
- eucalypt savanna;
- pattern analysis;
- seed dispersal;
- vine thicket
Abstract The spatial pattern of dry rainforest and savanna tree species was analysed in a 1.56-ha plot within an unburnt eucalypt savanna woodland in north Queensland, Australia. Rainforest colonization constituted only 1.3% of the basal area and mostly consisted of individuals less than 3 m high. The distribution of rainforest trees was highly clumped around the large savanna eucalypt trees. Ecological mechanisms generating the clumped distribution are discussed in light of evidence from this study and the literature. Herbaceous biomass was not reduced under trees, suggesting that relief from grass competition has not favoured rainforest colonization under tree crowns. Edaphic facilitation through nutrient enrichment under savanna tree crowns appears to be only minor on the moderate fertility soils of the area. The highly clumped pattern of colonizing dry rainforest may be a consequence of seeds dropped from birds roosting in savanna trees.