Using stable isotopes to identify soil moisture sources of key species in drought-stressed riparian woodlands

Reardon-Smith, Kate and Le Brocque, Andy and Hollins, Suzanne and Silburn, Mark (2011) Using stable isotopes to identify soil moisture sources of key species in drought-stressed riparian woodlands. In: Annual Conference Ecological Society of Australia (ESA 2011): Ecology in Changing Landscapes, 21-25 Nov 2011, Hobart, Australia.

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Remnant riparian woodlands on the Upper Condamine floodplain of the northern Murray-Darling Basin are characterised by the dominant canopy species Eucalyptus camaldulensis (river red gum), a facultative phreatophyte which preferentially accesses shallow groundwater sources during drought conditions. Phyla canescens (lippia), a perennial clonal herb, is also dominant in these ecosystems. Lippia is an invasive alien species, readily dispersed by flooding, with potential to spread throughout much of the Murray-Darling system with significant economic and environmental impact. Recent research indicates that trees may facilitate the persistence of lippia, enabling it to survive and reproduce under drought conditions, and that lippia may in turn contribute to dieback severity in canopy eucalypts in these woodlands. Greater understanding of the intensity and direction of interactions between these two species will contribute to the management of both lippia and tree condition in this landscape.

This research uses natural abundance stable isotopes to investigate the relative importance of water sources utilised by E. camaldulensis and P. canescens under low ambient soil moisture conditions. This approach will elucidate potentially important interactions between E. camaldulensis and P. canescens. It will also contribute to better understanding of the role of shallow groundwater resources in ecosystems subject to seasonal and long-term drought, and/or potentially at risk due to floodplain development and increasing climate variability.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Poster)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 02 May 2012 03:12
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 01:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: Phyla canescens; lippia; Eucalyptus camaldulensis; river red gum; stable isotopes; soil moisture sources
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0705 Forestry Sciences > 070508 Tree Nutrition and Physiology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050305 Soil Physics
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity

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