Complementary resource use by tree species in a rain forest tree plantation

Richards, Anna E. and Schmidt, Susanne (2010) Complementary resource use by tree species in a rain forest tree plantation. Ecological Applications, 20 5: 1237-1254. doi:10.1890/09-1180.1

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Author Richards, Anna E.
Schmidt, Susanne
Title Complementary resource use by tree species in a rain forest tree plantation
Journal name Ecological Applications   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1051-0761
Publication date 2010-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1890/09-1180.1
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 20
Issue 5
Start page 1237
End page 1254
Total pages 18
Editor David Schimel
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Mixed-species tree plantations, composed of high-value native rain forest timbers, are potential forestry systems for the subtropics and tropics that can provide ecological and production benefits. Choices of rain forest tree species for mixtures are generally based on the concept that assemblages of fast-growing and light-demanding species are less productive than assemblages of species with different shade tolerances. We examined the hypothesis that mixtures of two fast-growing species compete for resources, while mixtures of shade-tolerant and shade-intolerant species are complementary. Ecophysiological characteristics of young trees were determined and analyzed with a physiology-based canopy model (MAESTRA) to test species interactions. Contrary to predictions, there was evidence for complementary interactions between two fast-growing species with respect to nutrient uptake, nutrient use efficiency, and nutrient cycling. Fast-growing Elaeocarpus angustifolius had maximum demand for soil nutrients in summer, the most efficient internal recycling of N, and low P use efficiency at the leaf and whole-plant level and produced a large amount of nutrient-rich litter. In contrast, fast-growing Grevillea robusta had maximum demand for soil nutrients in spring and highest leaf nutrient use efficiency for N and P and produced low-nutrient litter. Thus, mixtures of fast-growing G. robusta and E. angustifolius or G. robusta and slow-growing, shade-tolerant Castanospermum australe may have similar or even greater productivity than monocultures, as light requirement is just one of several factors affecting performance of mixed-species plantations. We conclude that the knowledge gained here will be useful for designing large-scale experimental mixtures and commercial forestry systems in subtropical Australia and elsewhere.
© 2010 by the Ecological Society of America.

Keyword Australia
Castanospermum australe
Elaeocarpus angustifolius
Grevillea robusta
Nutrient cycling
Nutrient use efficiency
Tree mixtures
Nutrient use efficiency
Tropical pioneer tree
Temperature response
Carbon gain
Leaf age
Photosynthetic capacity
Eucalyptus globulus
Mixed plantations
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 21 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 11 Jul 2010, 00:06:40 EST