Characteristics of the Psidium cattleianum invasion of secondary rainforests

Tng, David Y.P., Goosem, Miriam W., Paz, Claudia P., Preece, Noel D., Goosem, Stephen, Fensham, Roderick J., and Laurance, Susan G.W. (2016) Characteristics of the Psidium cattleianum invasion of secondary rainforests. Austral Ecology, 40 (4). pp. 344-354.

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Abstract

Strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum) is a shade-tolerant shrub or small tree invader in tropical and subtropical regions and is considered among the world's top 100 worst invasive species. Studies from affected regions report deleterious effects of strawberry guava invasion on native vegetation. Here we examine the life history demographics and environmental determinants of strawberry guava invasions to inform effective weed management in affected rainforest regions.We surveyed the vegetation of 8 mature rainforest and 33 successional sites at various stages of regeneration in the Australian Wet Tropics and found that strawberry guava invasion was largely restricted to successional forests. Strawberry guava exhibited high stem and seedling densities, represented approximately 8% of all individual stems recorded and 20% of all seedlings recorded. The species also had the highest basal area among all the non-native woody species measured. We compared environmental and community level effects between strawberry guava-invaded and non-invaded sites, and modelled how the species basal area and recruitment patterns respond to these effects. Invaded sites differed from non-invaded sites in several environmental features such as aspect, distance from intact forest blocks, as well as supported higher grass and herb stem densities. Our analysis showed that invasion is currently ongoing in secondary forests, and also that strawberry guava is able to establish and persist under closed canopies. If left unchecked, strawberry guava invasion will have deleterious consequences for native regenerating forest in the Australian Wet Tropics.

Item ID: 40910
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: community species diversity; biological invasion; Psidium cattleianum; secondary rainforest; shade-tolerant invader; strawberry guava
ISSN: 1442-9993
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage Grant LP110201093, Qld Herbarium, ARC FT130101319
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2015 03:45
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology @ 70%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments @ 100%
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