Life history and morphological variation in intraspecific seeder and resprouter populations of two species from rock outcrop vegetation in north-east New South Wales
Benwell, A. and McCorkell, B., 2011. Life history and morphological variation in intraspecific seeder and resprouter populations of two species from rock outcrop vegetation in north-east New South Wales. Australian Journal of Botany, 59: 197–206.
Populations of the grass Entolasia stricta (wiry panic) and shrub Keraudrenia hillii var. hillii establishing from seed and regrowing as resprouters were studied in rocky pavement and fringing woodland areas. Populations were sampled in the field and studied under controlled conditions in two types of population/habitat (seeder/rock outcrop and resprouter/woodland) and under two levels of fertiliser (low and high). The two species exhibited parallel changes in life history between habitats. The populations from pavement shrubland produced a more compact shoot system, faster early shoot growth (E. stricta), more numerous flowers and more numerous and lighter seeds. In fringing woodland, both species produced a larger shoot system, slower early shoot growth and fewer and larger seeds. Significant differences in population features and correlation of population with habitat type indicated that the seeder-resprouter populations of both species were selected by habitat factors, most likely associated with the soil factors rather than fire regime.