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The Conservation of Juniper: Longevity and Old Age

Lena K. Ward
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 19, No. 3 (Dec., 1982), pp. 917-928
DOI: 10.2307/2403293
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2403293
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Conservation of Juniper: Longevity and Old Age
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Abstract

(1) The life-span of juniper, Juniperus communis communts L. appears to be about 100 years in southern England on the chalk; whereas in the north of England exceptional individuals reach over 200 years. (2) Longevity may be related to growth rate; slower growing junipers can live longer, and the life-span can be correlated with the growth rate in the early years. Variability of growth rates makes comparison of trunk girths of specimens from different sites very unreliable as a basis for estimating age. (3) Seed production in older junipers is reduced. Sex ratios are often not 1.1, and past history may be a factor in explaining sex ratios of present-day populations. (4) Juniper populations are often roughly even-aged, and in these cases study of the age and expected longevity of the bushes allows for prediction of the ultimate life-span of such populations in the absence of regeneration. This is relevant to the management of juniper on nature reserves.

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