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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Griffith, M. Patrick [1], Noblick, Larry R. [1], Dowe, John L. [2].

Variation in cyclone tolerance in Arecaceae.

THE relationship of catastrophic wind events (CWEs) to canopy dynamics, biomechanics, seedling recruitment, and stand demographics has been extensively studied. Resistance to mortality from CWEs is influenced by root system strength, soil conditions, stem strength and flexibility, crown properties, and canopy architecture. The 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season was the most active on record. During that period, collections at Montgomery Botanical Center (Miami, Florida) sustained significant damage from two hurricanes (categories 1 and 3); this presented a unique opportunity for comparative study of CWE tolerance among Arecaceae. Following each hurricane, each specimen was assessed for 3 classes of effect: mechanical damage, toppling, and / or immediate mortality. Palms were less frequently felled than other trees in both hurricanes. Mechanical damage without mortality was more frequent in palms than in other trees. Great variation in CWE tolerance within Arecaceae was observed. Examples of taxa not damaged in either CWE include Dictyosperma album, Hyophorbe lagenicaulis, H. verschaffeltii, Livistona chinensis, and Wodyetia bifurcata. Collections of Cocos nucifera and Sabal palmetto experienced little damage and very little toppling or immediate mortality. Roystonea oleracea and R. regia sustained high amounts of mechanical damage, but no toppling or mortality. A number of taxa (including Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, Caryota gigas, C. mitis, C. rumphiana, Corypha umbraculifera, and Gaussia attenuata) sustained high percentages of mechanical damage, toppling, and / or instantaneous mortality. Within Syagrus, variation to CWE tolerance may correlate with stem size and shape. The differing resistance to CWEs between the putative sister genera Gaussia and Hyophorbe may be biogeographically correlated. These data can inform planting projects in cyclone-prone regions.

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1 - Montgomery Botanical Center, 11901 Old Cutler Road, Miami, Florida, 33156, USA
2 - James Cook University, Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research, Townsville, Queensland, 4811, Australia

living collection.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 66-4
Location: 266/Holt
Date: Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006
Time: 8:45 AM
Abstract ID:647

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