Cyclones as an ecological factor in tropical lowland rain-forest, north queensland

Webb L.J. (1958) Cyclones as an ecological factor in tropical lowland rain-forest, north queensland. Australian Journal of Botany, 6 3: 220-228. doi:10.1071/BT9580220


Author Webb L.J.
Title Cyclones as an ecological factor in tropical lowland rain-forest, north queensland
Journal name Australian Journal of Botany   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1444-9862
Publication date 1958
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/BT9580220
Volume 6
Issue 3
Start page 220
End page 228
Total pages 9
Subject 1110 Nursing
1105 Dentistry
Abstract The influence of cyclones on the structural and floristic composition of tropical lowland and foothill rain-forest in north Queensland is briefly described. Local topographic effects, as well as the general frequency and intensity of cyclones, are important. The local intensification of wind velocities, probably exceeding 100 m. p. h., which occur regularly in parts of the coastal corridor south of Cairns, produces “cyclone scrubs”. Because of extensive windthrows, these have a low uneven canopy with scattered emergents. densely draped by vines. In more sheltered areas, with cyclonic winds averaging 60-80 m. p. h. not locally accelerated by turbulence, upper canopy defoliation and occasional wind- throws have resulted in a dense understorey of the shade-intolerant lawyer vine (Calamus australis (Mart.) Beccari) under a relatively even canopy averaging 90-110 ft high. On exposed spurs of the rugged coastal ranges, Acacia aulacocarpa A. Cunn. is a common emergent of rune forests. Fire following “dry” cyclone damage may further modify vine forests adjacent to fire-paths in sclerophyll or grassy forest. The principal effects of fire are the absence of the fire-sensitive Calamus spp., and the presence of numerous sclerophyllous species in addition to A. aulacocarpa. The reactions of Queensland tropical rain-forest to cyclones are compared with those described for west Africa, Malaya, and the West Indies. The catastrophic effect of cyclones on rain-forests overrides the usual ecological factors, and in such areas, even without human interference, a stable forest climax is not attained. The frequency of cyclonic damage means that exposed sites of the tropical lowlands and adjacent foothills of north Queensland have an uncertain silvicultural future.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import
 
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Created: Tue, 28 Jun 2016, 08:02:04 EST by System User