Acacia Density, Edaphic, and Climatic Factors Shape Plant Assemblages in Regrowth Montane Forests in Southeastern Australia

Anu Singh, Sabine Kasel*, Francis K.C. Hui, Raphaël Trouvé, Patrick J. Baker, Craig R. Nitschke

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A fundamental requirement of sustainable forest management is that stands are adequately regenerated after harvesting. To date, most research has focused on the regeneration of the dominant timber species and to a lesser degree on plant communities. Few studies have explored the impact of the regeneration success of dominant tree species on plant community composition and diversity. In this study, we quantified the influence of variability in tree density and climatic and edaphic factors on plant species diversity in montane regrowth forests dominated by Eucalyptus regnans in the Central Highlands of Victoria in southeastern Australia. We found that Acacia density shaped plant biodiversity more than Eucalyptus density. Edaphic factors, particularly soil nutrition and moisture availability, played a significant role in shaping species turnover and occurrence. Our findings suggest that the density of Acacia is a key biotic filter that influences the occurrence of many understorey plant species and shapes plant community turnover. This should be considered when assessing the impacts of both natural and anthropogenic disturbances on plant biodiversity in the montane forests of southeastern Australia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1166
    JournalForests
    Volume14
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

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