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Comparative Size, Fecundity and Ecophysiology of Roadside Plants of Banksia hookeriana

Byron B. Lamont, Rosemarie G. Rees, E. T. F. Witkowski and Victoria A. Whitten
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 31, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 137-144
DOI: 10.2307/2404606
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2404606
Page Count: 8
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Comparative Size, Fecundity and Ecophysiology of Roadside Plants of Banksia hookeriana
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Abstract

1. The crowns of roadside plants of Banksia hookeriana were on average 2.34 times larger than their non-edge counterparts for a range of ages at five sites. Roadside plants produced 2.51 times more flower heads. 2. Mass of the cones was 32% greater than those of non-roadside plants and they contained 27% more follicles and seeds. The fractions of seeds released and eaten/decayed were similar at both positions. 3. Increased cone production, follicles per cone and seed viability per follicle resulted in a 4.74 times larger seed store in the roadside plants. 4. This greater fecundity was apparently due to greater access to water (non-significantly different or higher transpiration rates, lower pre-dawn xylem tensions and diurnal leaf temperatures) and mineral nutrients (including higher concentrations of N, K and Ca), leading to higher photosynthetic and growth rates. 5. Variable access to resources was confirmed by a bioassay using B. hookeriana seedlings: there was a decreasing gradient in survival and size from the road drain beside the roadside plants through to the non-edge positions.

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