Seed fall, seed predation, twigging and litter fall of Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold

Bebawi, Faiz F., Campbell, Shane D. and Mayer, Robert J. (2016) Seed fall, seed predation, twigging and litter fall of Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold. Rangeland Journal, 38 6: 569-577. doi:10.1071/RJ16021

Author Bebawi, Faiz F.
Campbell, Shane D.
Mayer, Robert J.
Title Seed fall, seed predation, twigging and litter fall of Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold
Journal name Rangeland Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1036-9872
Publication date 2016-12-14
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/RJ16021
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 38
Issue 6
Start page 569
End page 577
Total pages 9
Place of publication Clayton, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold is a garden ornamental in northern Australia and two biotypes, the peach and the yellow, are recognised. In some areas it has naturalised and now has environmental and economic effects. As part of a broader research program into the ecology of C. thevetia, a field study was undertaken in northern Queensland to quantify seed fall and seed predation (by avian wildlife) of the peach biotype. The amount of twigging caused by birds while they fed on the seeds and the level of litter production were also recorded. Seed fall, seed predation, twigging and litter production occurred in all months of the year. Seed fall increased slowly over late spring and summer before peaking in mid-to late autumn (April-May) and then declining until October. Mean (+/- s.e.m.) estimated total annual seed fall was 19 140 +/- 2880 and 17 030 +/- 2930 seeds ha(-1) in the first and second years respectively. Seed predation by birds was substantial, with 57% of all seeds predated. Birds also chewed an average of 600 twigs ha-1 year-1. Litter production varied from 430 to 950 kg dry weight (DW) ha-1 month-1. In total, 7900 +/- 640 and 7390 +/- 1420 kg (DW) litter was produced during the first and second years respectively. Although seed production of C. thevetia is less than a lot of other rangeland weeds, seed predation by birds further reduces the number of seeds entering the soil seed bank. The stem damage that occurred in conjunction with seed predation contributed to overall litter production and warrants further investigation in terms of its effect on plant growth.
Keyword Captain Cook tree
Litter production
Predispersal predation
Seed production
Yellow oleander
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 04 May 2018, 16:21:42 EST by Shane Campbell on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)