Dynamics of plant processes and populations in semi-arid Australia and the influences of drought, grazing and fire : a thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Science of Massey University

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Massey University
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The experimental, analytical and integrative research achievements of the author, relating to the study of plant functioning and dynamics of plant populations and communities in semi-arid landscapes of eastern Australia and the responses to the stresses of drought, fire and grazing, are described. These achievements occurred during a period when scientific knowledge on the functioning and dysfunctioning of ecological communities in arid and semi-arid pastoral lands were required for the development of new managements that sustained natural resources in these water-limited environments. The research described addresses the principle goals of the author, namely to (i) elucidate physiological and demographic responses to climate variability and interactions with the stresses of grazing and fire, and (ii) to use the knowledge to develop new grazing and fire managements for sustaining pastoral businesses and the natural resources on which they depend, in semi-arid pastoral Australia. In this thesis, the research achievements of the author, the consequent publications, and the recognition of this research, are summarised in the Preface (Section 1). Following the author's curriculum vitae (Section 2), and full list of . publications (Section 3 ), a detailed description of the author's research is given in Section 4, which comprises 40 selected publications in refereed journals and books, totalling some 482 pages. These selected publications address the research theme defined by the thesis title Dynamics of plant processes and populations in semi-arid Australia and the influences of drought, grazing and fire, and cover the period 1970- 2002, during the candidates' research programs with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation at Deniliquin and Canberra, Australia.
This Doctor of Science comprises a number of published works, listed in the file attached. As such due to copyright restriction they are not included here but can be accessed individually from the publisher.
Arid regions plants, Australia, Plant physiology, Arid regions ecology, Drought, Grazing, Fire