Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Phenology of an 'immigrant' savanna tree (Acacia caven, Leguminosae) in the Mediterranean climate zone of Chile.

Abstract

Phenological behaviour was investigated from September 1988 to August 1989 in 9 populations of the cold-deciduous legume tree Acacia caven along 3 transects (36, 33 and 30°S.) encompassing the range of large reproducing populations of the species in central Chile, where it is important in the espinal (degraded matorral replaced by low-input agriculture and animal husbandry) as part of an agrosilvopastoral system. Phenological patterns were not coupled with rainfall patterns in this Mediterranean-climate region and were out-of-phase with those of co-occurring plants. The phenology of the species, therefore, more closely resembles that of many trees of seasonally-dry, subtropical savannas than that of typical Mediterranean-climate trees and shrubs. Cluster analysis revealed that significant phenological differences occurred between the 4 populations in the most arid transect (30°S.), and the other 5 populations in the semiarid and subhumid zones further S., despite the absence of consistent morphological differences among these populations.