School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences - Research Publications

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    AusTraits, a curated plant trait database for the Australian flora
    Falster, D ; Gallagher, R ; Wenk, EH ; Wright, IJ ; Indiarto, D ; Andrew, SC ; Baxter, C ; Lawson, J ; Allen, S ; Fuchs, A ; Monro, A ; Kar, F ; Adams, MA ; Ahrens, CW ; Alfonzetti, M ; Angevin, T ; Apgaua, DMG ; Arndt, S ; Atkin, OK ; Atkinson, J ; Auld, T ; Baker, A ; von Balthazar, M ; Bean, A ; Blackman, CJ ; Bloomfeld, K ; Bowman, DMJS ; Bragg, J ; Brodribb, TJ ; Buckton, G ; Burrows, G ; Caldwell, E ; Camac, J ; Carpenter, R ; Catford, J ; Cawthray, GR ; Cernusak, LA ; Chandler, G ; Chapman, AR ; Cheal, D ; Cheesman, AW ; Chen, S-C ; Choat, B ; Clinton, B ; Clode, PL ; Coleman, H ; Cornwell, WK ; Cosgrove, M ; Crisp, M ; Cross, E ; Crous, KY ; Cunningham, S ; Curran, T ; Curtis, E ; Daws, M ; DeGabriel, JL ; Denton, MD ; Dong, N ; Du, P ; Duan, H ; Duncan, DH ; Duncan, RP ; Duretto, M ; Dwyer, JM ; Edwards, C ; Esperon-Rodriguez, M ; Evans, JR ; Everingham, SE ; Farrell, C ; Firn, J ; Fonseca, CR ; French, BJ ; Frood, D ; Funk, JL ; Geange, SR ; Ghannoum, O ; Gleason, SM ; Gosper, CR ; Gray, E ; Groom, PK ; Grootemaat, S ; Gross, C ; Guerin, G ; Guja, L ; Hahs, AK ; Harrison, MT ; Hayes, PE ; Henery, M ; Hochuli, D ; Howell, J ; Huang, G ; Hughes, L ; Huisman, J ; Ilic, J ; Jagdish, A ; Jin, D ; Jordan, G ; Jurado, E ; Kanowski, J ; Kasel, S ; Kellermann, J ; Kenny, B ; Kohout, M ; Kooyman, RM ; Kotowska, MM ; Lai, HR ; Laliberte, E ; Lambers, H ; Lamont, BB ; Lanfear, R ; van Langevelde, F ; Laughlin, DC ; Laugier-kitchener, B-A ; Laurance, S ; Lehmann, CER ; Leigh, A ; Leishman, MR ; Lenz, T ; Lepschi, B ; Lewis, JD ; Lim, F ; Liu, U ; Lord, J ; Lusk, CH ; Macinnis-Ng, C ; McPherson, H ; Magallon, S ; Manea, A ; Lopez-Martinez, A ; Mayfeld, M ; McCarthy, JK ; Meers, T ; van der Merwe, M ; Metcalfe, DJ ; Milberg, P ; Mokany, K ; Moles, AT ; Moore, BD ; Moore, N ; Morgan, JW ; Morris, W ; Muir, A ; Munroe, S ; Nicholson, A ; Nicolle, D ; Nicotra, AB ; Niinemets, U ; North, T ; O'Reilly-Nugent, A ; O'Sullivan, OS ; Oberle, B ; Onoda, Y ; Ooi, MKJ ; Osborne, CP ; Paczkowska, G ; Pekin, B ; Pereira, CG ; Pickering, C ; Pickup, M ; Pollock, LJ ; Poot, P ; Powell, JR ; Power, S ; Prentice, IC ; Prior, L ; Prober, SM ; Read, J ; Reynolds, V ; Richards, AE ; Richardson, B ; Roderick, ML ; Rosell, JA ; Rossetto, M ; Rye, B ; Rymer, PD ; Sams, M ; Sanson, G ; Sauquet, H ; Schmidt, S ; Schoenenberger, J ; Schulze, E-D ; Sendall, K ; Sinclair, S ; Smith, B ; Smith, R ; Soper, F ; Sparrow, B ; Standish, RJ ; Staples, TL ; Stephens, R ; Szota, C ; Taseski, G ; Tasker, E ; Thomas, F ; Tissue, DT ; Tjoelker, MG ; Tng, DYP ; de Tombeur, F ; Tomlinson, K ; Turner, NC ; Veneklaas, EJ ; Venn, S ; Vesk, P ; Vlasveld, C ; Vorontsova, MS ; Warren, CA ; Warwick, N ; Weerasinghe, LK ; Wells, J ; Westoby, M ; White, M ; Williams, NSG ; Wills, J ; Wilson, PG ; Yates, C ; Zanne, AE ; Zemunik, G ; Zieminska, K (NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2021-09-30)
    We introduce the AusTraits database - a compilation of values of plant traits for taxa in the Australian flora (hereafter AusTraits). AusTraits synthesises data on 448 traits across 28,640 taxa from field campaigns, published literature, taxonomic monographs, and individual taxon descriptions. Traits vary in scope from physiological measures of performance (e.g. photosynthetic gas exchange, water-use efficiency) to morphological attributes (e.g. leaf area, seed mass, plant height) which link to aspects of ecological variation. AusTraits contains curated and harmonised individual- and species-level measurements coupled to, where available, contextual information on site properties and experimental conditions. This article provides information on version 3.0.2 of AusTraits which contains data for 997,808 trait-by-taxon combinations. We envision AusTraits as an ongoing collaborative initiative for easily archiving and sharing trait data, which also provides a template for other national or regional initiatives globally to fill persistent gaps in trait knowledge.
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    Does the turgor loss point characterize drought response in dryland plants?
    Farrell, C ; Szota, C ; Arndt, SK (WILEY, 2017-08-01)
    The water potential at turgor loss point (Ψtlp ) has been suggested as a key functional trait for determining plant drought tolerance, because of its close relationship with stomatal closure. Ψtlp may indicate drought tolerance as plants, which maintain gas exchange at lower midday water potentials as soil water availability declines also have lower Ψtlp . We evaluated 17 species from seasonally dry habitats, representing a range of life-forms, under well-watered and drought conditions, to determine how Ψtlp relates to stomatal sensitivity (pre-dawn water potential at stomatal closure: Ψgs0 ) and drought strategy (degree of isohydry or anisohydry; ΔΨMD between well-watered conditions and stomatal closure). Although Ψgs0 was related to Ψtlp , Ψgs0 was better related to drought strategy (ΔΨMD ). Drought avoiders (isohydric) closed stomata at water potentials higher than their Ψtlp ; whereas, drought tolerant (anisohydric) species maintained stomatal conductance at lower water potentials than their Ψtlp and were more dehydration tolerant. There was no significant relationship between Ψtlp and ΔΨMD . While Ψtlp has been related to biome water availability, we found that Ψtlp did not relate strongly to stomatal closure or drought strategy, for either drought avoiders or tolerators. We therefore suggest caution in using Ψtlp to predict vulnerability to drought.
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    Relationships between plant drought response, traits, and climate of origin for green roof plant selection
    Du, P ; Arndt, SK ; Farrell, C (WILEY, 2018-10-01)
    The ideal species for green or vegetated roofs should have high water use after rainfall to maximize stormwater retention but also survive periods with low water availability in dry substrates. Shrubs have great potential for green roofs because they have higher rates of water use, and many species are also drought tolerant. However, not all shrub species will be suitable and there may be a trade-off between water use and drought tolerance. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to determine the possible trade-offs between shrub water use for stormwater management and their response to drought conditions. We selected 20 shrubs from a wide range of climates of origin, represented by heat moisture index (HMI) and mean annual precipitation (MAP). Under well-watered (WW) and water-deficit (WD) conditions, we assessed morphological responses to water availability; evapotranspiration rate (ET) and midday water potential (ΨMD ) were used to evaluate species water use and drought response. In response to WD, all 20 shrubs adjusted their morphology and physiology. However, there were no species that simultaneously achieved high rates of water use (high ET) under WW and high drought tolerance (low ΨMD ) under WD conditions. Although some species which had high water use under WW conditions could avoid drought stress (high ΨMD ). Water use was strongly related to plant biomass, total leaf area, and leaf traits (specific leaf area [SLA] and leaf area ratio [LAR]). Conversely, drought response (ΨMD ) was not related to morphological traits. Species' climate of origin was not related to drought response or water use. Drought-avoiding shrubs (high ΨMD ) could optimize rainfall reduction on green roofs. Water use was related to biomass, leaf area, and leaf traits; thus, these traits could be used to assist the selection of shrubs for stormwater mitigation on green roofs. The natural distribution of species was not related to their water use or drought response, which suggests that shrubs from less arid climates may be suitable for use on green roofs. Selecting species based on traits and not climate of origin could both improve green roof performance and biodiversity outcomes by expanding the current plant palette.
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    High water users can be drought tolerant: using physiological traits for green roof plant selection
    Farrell, C ; Szota, C ; Williams, NSG ; Arndt, SK (SPRINGER, 2013-11-01)
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    Leaf Traits of Drought Tolerance for 37 Shrub Species Originating from a Moisture Gradient
    Xu, G-Q ; Arndt, SK ; Farrell, C (MDPI, 2020-06-01)
    Identifying the drought-tolerance traits of plant species originating from a moisture gradient will increase our understanding of the differences and similarities in plant drought tolerance. However, which traits can be used to evaluate drought tolerance remain an open question. Here, we conducted a common-garden experiment on 37 shrub species originating from desert to humid regions. The correlations between plant traits and the native environmental conditions were studied. Leaf sizes and Huber values were significantly correlated with most climate variables of the shrubs’ origins. The osmotic potentials at full turgor (π100), turgor loss point (ΨTLP), and midday leaf water potential (Ψmid) were significantly correlated with most climate variables of their origins. We proposed using leaf sizes, Huber values, and ΨTLP as predictors of drought tolerance across shrub species and shrub biomes. Statistically significant correlations were found between π100, ΨTLP, and specific leaf area (SLA). However, owing to the weak correlations between SLA and the climate variables of the shrubs origins and between Huber values and leaf size and turgor loss traits, it was difficult to integrate leaf morphological traits with physiological traits to find a simple way to accurately quantify drought-tolerance-related differences among these shrub species.
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    Urban Plantings: 'Living Laboratories' for Climate Change Response
    Farrell, C ; Szota, C ; Arndt, SK (ELSEVIER SCIENCE LONDON, 2015-10-01)
    Urban plantings are not only valuable resources for understanding 'urban plant physiology' but are 'living laboratories' for understanding plant response to climate change. Therefore, we encourage researchers who currently work in natural ecosystems to consider how urban plantings could enhance their research into plant physiological responses to a changing climate.