Influence of plant species and soil conditions on plant-soil feedback in the jarrah forest

Martha Orozco Aceves

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    203 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    [Truncated] Plant-soil feedback (PSF) describes how changes to soil properties are caused by plants (via conditioning), which in turn influence the plant performance (via soil feedback). Plant-soil feedback is driven by soil conditions and plant species involved in the interaction, however, the influence or ‘weight’ of each one of these two components on PSF outcomes has been scarcely examined. Studying the influence of plant species and soil conditions on PSF is especially important in highly endemic ecosystems such as the jarrah forest. This ecosystem displays particular features that define its structure and function, and general ecological theories often fall short to explain those particularities. In addition, the jarrah forest has been subjected to a strong anthropogenic pressure by mining activity. In this case, knowing the influence of plant species and soil conditions on PSF may contribute to the design of effective restoration strategies.

    My thesis focuses on the influence of plant species and soil conditions on PSF that operates in the jarrah forest of Western Australia. Specifically, PSF was investigated in the contexts of unmined soils and soils restored after bauxite mining. The research is presented in three themes: 1) a detailed study of the influence of plant species and soil contexts on individual PSF associated with representative plant species of the jarrah forest, described in chapter 3; 2) a study of the influence of changing soil conditions present in a chronosequence of restoration ages on plant performance and associated individual PSF, described in chapter 4; and 3) the influence of long-term conditioned soil by non-native plantation species on PSF associated to native jarrah plants, described in chapter 5.

    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2015

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