Seedling recruitment strategies in obligate-seeding and resprouting Banksia shrubs

C. Zammit, M. Westoby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Banksia ericifolia is killed by fire and so depends upon seeds for persistence; B. oblongifolia can persist after fire by resprouting from protected buds, as well as by recruiting seedlings. These serotinous species coexist in the fire-prone scrublands of the Sydney Basin. B. oblongifolia seeds were released more quickly than B. ericifolia seeds after a fire, and B. oblongifolia follicles opened and shed seeds after exposure to lower temperatures than those of B. ericifolia. B. oblongifolia seeds also germinated more quickly. The relative growth rates and leaf mass ratios (mean ratio of leaf dry mass to plant dry mass over sequential harvests) of the species did not differ. Root:shoot ratios were significantly larger and biomass allocation to roots was faster in B. oblongifolia seedlings. B. ericifolia seedlings survived low and intermediate levels of droughting better than B. oblongifolia, and where water was not limiting, large B. oblongifolia seedings had the highest survival rate. Selection has acted on B. ericifolia to minimize the chance of zero seedling survival by distributing the risks over more than one germination episode.-from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1984-1992
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


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