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Type: Journal article
Title: Understanding the interplay of temperature and moisture on the germination niche to improve management of threatened species impacted by mining
Author: Rajapakshe, R.P.V.G.S.W.
Cross, A.T.
Turner, S.R.
Tomlinson, S.
Citation: Restoration Ecology, 2022; 30(Suppl. 1):e13708-1-e13708-12
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2022
ISSN: 1061-2971
Statement of
Rajapakshe P. V. G. S. W. Rajapakshe, Adam T. Cross, Shane R. Turner, Sean Tomlinson
Abstract: The return of vegetation to mined lands often requires broadcast seeding of diverse native seed mixes. However, seeds are highly adapted to germination windows with specific hydrothermal thresholds that maximize the likelihood of seedling survival, and post-mining landscapes typically offer markedly different hydrothermal conditions than pre-disturbance ecosystems. According to niche theory, generalist species should exhibit broader hydrothermal performance niches than specialist taxa, which may influence the success of recruitment from seeds in post-mining ecological restoration. To test this assumption, the impact of hydrothermal stress (incubation temperature (10–30°C) and osmotic potential (—0.8 to 0 MPa)) on the time to 50% germination (t₅₀) and maximum germination (Gmax) was compared between two narrow-range species of conservation concern (Acacia woodmaniorum and A. karina) restricted to mining-impacted Banded Ironstone Formations (BIF) and three broadly distributed congenerics (A. assimilis, A. exocarpoides, and A. ramulosa). The hydrothermal germination niches of the study species were broadly congruent with hydrothermal conditions of their habitats. The two range-restricted taxa were more tolerant of hydrothermal stress com-pared to the three widely distributed taxa, suggesting that tolerance of greater hydrothermal stress by both range-restricted Acaciaspecies is likely to be adaptive to establishment in uncontested niche space. Complex interactions between thermal and water stress suggest these environmental gradients may shape the germination niche as well as patterns of plant diversity in BIF ecosystems. This study highlights the importance of quantifying interactions between niche dimensions and their implications for species performance, which will aid future restoration efforts for micro-endemic species impacted by mining.
Description: First published: 20 April 2022
Rights: © 2022 The Authors. Restoration Ecology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Ecological Restoration. This is an open access article under the terms of theCreative Commons AttributionLicense, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided theoriginal work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1111/rec.13708
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Appears in Collections:Zoology publications

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