Conservation biology of two endemic Beyeria species (Euphorbiaceae) from southern Western Australia

B.J. Vincent, S. Barrett, A. Cochrane, Julie Plummer, Michael Renton

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    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    © CSIRO 2015. Beyeria cockertonii Halford & R.J.F.Hend. and Beyeria villosa Halford & R.J.F.Hend. (Euphorbiaceae) are two short-range endemic monoecious congeners from southern Western Australia. We sought to determine whether life-history characteristics were responsible for their limited distribution and to identify aspects of their ecology that might render them vulnerable to current threatening processes. We investigated reproductive phenology in relation to climate, pollinator activity and synchronicity of male and female flowering. In addition seed dispersal, regeneration, demography and seed viability were examined and ex situ germination experiments conducted to determine seed-dormancy mechanisms. Flowering in the conservation-listed B. cockertonii was significantly correlated with temperature, whereas fruit set was correlated with pollinator abundance and movement; male and female flowering showed limited synchrony. The presence of soil-stored seeds lacking a caruncle at sites absent of adult plants of either species suggests that seed may be ant-dispersed (myrmecochory). Fresh seeds of B. cockertonii were significantly more viable than those of its more common congener, B. villosa (72 vs 0.5%, P
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)484-496
    JournalAustralian Journal of Botany
    Volume63
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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