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Eucalypt responses to fertilization and reduced herbivory

Oecologia (Berlin) 89(2): 214-222
Eucalypt responses to fertilization and reduced herbivory
We manipulated soil fertility and insect attack for two species of Eucalyptus in natural stands of subalpine woodland on shallow, infertile granitic soils. E. pauciflora and E. stellulata responded in similar ways to simultaneous insecticide and fertilizer treatments. Eliminating herbivorous insects produced the largest changes - improved plant growth, increased leaf N and P, and reduced leaf specific density. Fertilizer regime modified some leaf properties, but had little effect on tree growth. E. stellulata trees were initially shorter than E. pauciflora, but grew faster without herbivores; by the end of the experiment both species were the same size when herbivores were removed. Foliage N and P levels increased most in trees with the most balanced fertilizer addition (NPK), and increased in all trees protected from insects, regardless of fertilizer regime. In this system, herbivorous insects exacerbated the effects of nutrient-poor soils, and may affect dominance of Eucalyptus species in mature forests.

Accession: 002373834

DOI: 10.1007/bf00317220

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