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Factors influencing the density of Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) in subtropical rainforest

By Pascal Scherrer


A study conducted in Springbrook and Lamington National Parks byScherrer (1998) attempted to identify factors that influence the densityof Lantana camara and to assess the long-term persistence of lantanaand its capacity to spread into neighbouring vegetation. The physical characteristics (light intensity, soil moisture, colour, pHand conductivity, measures of vegetation disturbance, slope, aspectand habitat type) of areas that have been infested by Lantana camarawere compared with areas that remain unaffected by lantana. Theedges of lantana patches were visually assessed for evidence of spreador contraction.The study revealed that factors associated with disturbance (treefalls,landslips and canopy gaps) are critical in determining the density ofLantana camara in Springbrook National Park. Soil variables, habitattypes or topographic conditions had no significant influence on thedensity of lantana. The study therefore suggests that Lantana camarahas the capacity to invade any part of Springbrook National Park,provided that it has been disturbed and that sufficient light is availableat the site. The clearance of vegetation to provide recreationalopportunities may therefore encourage the spread of lantanainfestation in Springbrook National Park. The study provided littleevidence however to suggest that lantana is capable of spreading toundisturbed sections of rainforest once established but did indicatethat select native species have the capacity to reclaim areas infestedwith lantana

Topics: Lantana, Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae), Environmental Sciences
Publisher: ePublications@SCU
Year: 1998
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Provided by: ePublications@SCU
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