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    Growth and species interactions of Eucalyptus pellita in a mixed and monoculture plantation in the humid tropics of north Queensland

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    This study investigated whether mixed-species designs can increase the growth of a tropical eucalypt when compared to monocultures. Monocultures of Eucalyptus pellita (E) and Acacia peregrina (A) and mixtures in various proportions (75E:25A, 50E:50A, 25E:75A) were planted in a replacement series design on the AthertonTablelands of north Queensland, Australia. High mortality in the establishment phase due to repeated damage by tropical cyclones altered the trial design. Effects of experimental designs on tree growth were estimated using a linear mixed-effects model with restricted maximum likelihood analysis (REML). Volume growth of individual eucalypt trees were positively affected by the presence of acacia trees at age 5 years and this effect generally increased with time up to age 10 years. However, the stand volume and basal area increased with increasing proportions of E. pellita, due to its larger individual tree size. Conventional analysis did not offer convincing support for mixed- species designs. Preliminary individual-based modelling using a modified Hegyi competition index offered a solution and an equation that indicates acacias have positive ecological interactions (facilitation or competitive reduction) and definitely do not cause competition like a eucalypt. These results suggest that significantly increased in growth rates could be achieved with mixed-species designs. This statistical methodology could enable a better understanding of species interactions in similarly altered experiments, or undesigned mixed-species plantations. 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Keywords: Eucalyptus pellita; Acacia peregrina; Mixed-species plantations; Growth and yield modelling; Competition; Hegyi index 1. Introduction Despite the well-recognised desire of small-scale forest growers to plant timber species in mixed-species designs (Herbohn et al., 1998), few publications support the popular contention that growing timber trees in mixtures is better than monocultures. Mixtures have been established to maximise positive ecological interactions (facilitation and competitive reduction) and to minimise negative interactions (competition) (Kelty, 1992;Forrester et al.,2005;Forrester et al.,2006). Studies of mixed versus pure plantations have shown that mixtures have the potential for greater production of biomass (DeBell et al., 1997; Forrester et al., 2004), more diversified products (Keenan et al., 1995; Piotto et al., 2004), improved nutrient cycling and soil fertility (Binkley et al., 1992; Bauhus et al., 2000; Binkley et al., 2000; Montagnini, 2000), and improved riskmanagement Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 7 40929902; fax: +61 7 40933903. E-mail address: Mila.Bristowdpi.qld.gov.au (M. Bristow). 0378-1127/ see front matter 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. and reduced incidence of pest and diseases (Montagnini et al.,

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    Title : Growth and species interactions of Eucalyptus pellita in a mixed and monoculture plantation in the humid tropics of north Queensland
    Author(s) : Mila Bristow, Jerome K. Vanclay, Lyndon Brooks, Mark Hunt
    Abstract : This study investigated whether mixed-species designs can increase the growth of a tropical eucalypt when compared to monocultures. Monocultures of Eucalyptus pellita (E) and Acacia peregrina (A) and mixtures in various proportions (75E:25A, 50E:50A, 25E:75A) were planted in a replacement series design on the AthertonTablelands of north Queensland, Australia. High mortality in the establishment phase due to repeated damage by tropical cyclones altered the trial design. Effects of experimental designs on tree growth were estimated using a linear mixed-effects model with restricted maximum likelihood analysis (REML). Volume growth of individual eucalypt trees were positively affected by the presence of acacia trees at age 5 years and this effect generally increased with time up to age 10 years. However, the stand volume and basal area increased with increasing proportions of E. pellita, due to its larger individual tree size. Conventional analysis did not offer convincing support for mixed- species designs. Preliminary individual-based modelling using a modified Hegyi competition index offered a solution and an equation that indicates acacias have positive ecological interactions (facilitation or competitive reduction) and definitely do not cause competition like a eucalypt. These results suggest that significantly increased in growth rates could be achieved with mixed-species designs. This statistical methodology could enable a better understanding of species interactions in similarly altered experiments, or undesigned mixed-species plantations. 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Keywords: Eucalyptus pellita; Acacia peregrina; Mixed-species plantations; Growth and yield modelling; Competition; Hegyi index 1. Introduction Despite the well-recognised desire of small-scale forest growers to plant timber species in mixed-species designs (Herbohn et al., 1998), few publications support the popular contention that growing timber trees in mixtures is better than monocultures. Mixtures have been established to maximise positive ecological interactions (facilitation and competitive reduction) and to minimise negative interactions (competition) (Kelty, 1992;Forrester et al.,2005;Forrester et al.,2006). Studies of mixed versus pure plantations have shown that mixtures have the potential for greater production of biomass (DeBell et al., 1997; Forrester et al., 2004), more diversified products (Keenan et al., 1995; Piotto et al., 2004), improved nutrient cycling and soil fertility (Binkley et al., 1992; Bauhus et al., 2000; Binkley et al., 2000; Montagnini, 2000), and improved riskmanagement Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 7 40929902; fax: +61 7 40933903. E-mail address: Mila.Bristowdpi.qld.gov.au (M. Bristow). 0378-1127/ see front matter 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. and reduced incidence of pest and diseases (Montagnini et al.,
    Keywords : acacia peregrina, competition, eucalyptus pellita, growth yield modelling, hegyi index, mixed species plantations

    Subject : unspecified
    Area : Other
    Language : English
    Year : 2006

    Affiliations Southern Cross University
    Editors : Stefan Näher, Dorothea Wagner
    Journal : Forest Ecology and Management
    Volume : 233
    Issue : 2-3
    Publisher : Springer Berlin Heidelberg
    Pages : 285 - 294
    Url : http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378112706003318
    Doi : 10.1016/j.foreco.2006.05.019

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    Jerome's Peer Evaluation activity

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    • Habiba Hassan Wassef, Senior professional, Independent international expert, United Nations, WHO, National Coordinator for the 7th European Framework Research Programme, National Research Center in Cairo, Egypt.
    • Thuy Nguyen, Student, Ph.D. Level, Silviculture Research Institute, Ha Noi, Vietnam, The University of Melbourne.
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