Tree‐soil Interactions Through Water Release to a Floodplain Ecosystem: a Case Study of Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) on Loamy Sands

Abstract

Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) is an agriculturally and ecologically valuable region impacted by water abstraction and climate change. Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens (Myrtaceae)), an important floodplain tree largely endemic to the Basin is of concern because its overall condition is sub-optimal. Knowledge about key aspects of Black Box tree function such as mineral nutrition remains limited. This field study examined the latter by measuring essential plant nutrients, aluminium, and soil chemistry over 12 months spanning an environmental water release event. Samples were collected 4–8 weekly from mature trees on loamy sands of the Hattah Lakes system in north-western Victoria. This commenced prior to water release, continuing through peak levels at the study sites, to recession. Paired leaf and soil samples were obtained from/beneath mature trees at 8 time-points in 2017–2018. Flooding induced mostly temporary soil chemical changes in the surface horizon, which enhanced trace-nutrient access to trees. Results suggest that the short-term flooding of Black Box on drained loamy sands likely provides nutritional advantage by generating soil chemical fluxes. They also raise questions about flooding-induced movement of nutrients through the soil profile, and about the combined effects of pedology and duration of flooding on the nutritional health of Black Box.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9

Data Availability

Data will be made publicly available or by contacting authors directly.

Code Availability

Yet to be determined, authors can be contacted directly.

References

  1. Bramley H, Hutson J, Tyerman SD (2003) Floodwater infiltration through root channels on a sodic clay floodplain and the influence on a local tree species Eucalyptus largiflorens. Plant and Soil 253:275–286

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bromfield SM, Cumming RW, David DJ, Williams CH (1983) Change in soil pH, manganese and aluminium under subterranean clover pasture. Australian Journal of Agricultural Animal Husbandry 23:181–191

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Capon SJ, Chambers LE, MacNally R, Naiman RJ, Davies P, Marshall N, Pittock J, Reid M, Capon T, Douglas M, Catford J, Baldwin DS, Stewardson M, Roberts J, Parsons M, Williams SE (2013) Riparian ecosystems in the 21st century: hotspots for climate change adaptation? Ecosystems 16:358–381

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Capon S, James CS, George AK (2016) Riverine trees and shrubs. In: Capon CJS, Reid M (eds) Vegetation of Australian Riverine Landscapes: Biology, Ecology and Management. CSIRO Publishing, Clayton, pp 119–142

    Google Scholar 

  5. Carlyle JC (1993) Organic carbon in forested sandy soils: properties, processes and the impact of forest management. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 23:390–402

    Google Scholar 

  6. Colloff MJ, Caley P, Saintilan N, Pollino CA, Crossman ND (2015) Long-term ecological trends of flow-dependent ecosystems in a major regulated river basin. Marine Freshwater Research 66:957–969

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. CSIRO (1983) Soils an Australian Viewpoint. Academic, London

    Google Scholar 

  8. Dean JM (2007) Chemical ecology of plant-microbe interactions and effects on insect herbivores. Doctor of philosophy. Pennsylvania State College, State College

    Google Scholar 

  9. Doody TM, Holland KL, Benyon RG, Jolly ID (2009) Effect of groundwater freshening on riparian vegetation water balance. Hydrological Processes 23:3485–3499

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Doody TM, Benger SN, Pritchard JL, Overton IC (2014) Ecological response of Eucalyptus camaldulensis (river red gum) to extended drought and flooding along the River Murray, South Australia (1997–2011) and implications for environmental flow management. Marine Freshwater Research 65:1082–1093

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Doody TM, Gehrig SL, Colloff MD, Doble R (2019) DDesigning environmental watering provisions for Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) in disconnected floodplain regions: field quantification of water requirements. Wetlands Ecology and Management 28:315–340

    Google Scholar 

  12. Eamus D, Chen X, Kelley G, Hutley LB (2002) Root biomass and root fractal analyses of an open Eucalyptus forest in a savanna of north Australia. Australian Journal of Botany 50:31–41

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Fernando DR, Lynch JP (2015) Manganese phytotoxicity: new light on an old problem. Annals of Botany 116:313–319

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Fernando DR, Marshall AT, Lynch JP (2016) Foliar nutrient distribution patterns in sympatric maple species reflect contrasting sensitivity to excess manganese. PLoS One 11(7):e0157702

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Fernando DR, Moroni SJ, Scott BJ, Conyers MK, Lynch JP, Marshall AT (2016) Temperature and light drive manganese accumulation and stress in crops across three major plant families. Environmental and Experimental Botany 132:66–79

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Fernando DR, Lynch JP, Reichman S, Clark G, Miller R, Doody T (2018) Inundation of a floodplain lake woodlands system: nutritional profiling and benefit to mature Eucalyptus largiflorens (Black Box) trees. Wetlands Ecology and Management 26:961–975

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Foy CD (1984) Physiological effects of hydrogen, aluminum, and manganese toxicities in acid soil. In: Adams F (ed) Soil Acidity and Liming. Amer. Soc. Agron., Crop. Sci. Soc. Amer., and Soil Sci. Soc. Amer., Madison

  18. Gilbert BE, McLean FT, Adams WL (1927) The current mineral nutrient content of the plant solution as an index of metabolic limiting conditions. Plant Physiology 2:139–151

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Grafton RQ, Williams J, Perry CJ, Molle F, Ringler C, Steduto P, Udall B, Wheeler SA, Wang Y, Garrick D, Allen RG (2018) The paradox of irrigation efficiency: higher efficiency rarely reduces water consumption. Science 361:748–751

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Graham RD, Hannam RJ, Uren NC (1988) Manganese in Soils and Plants. In: Graham RD, Hannam RJ, Uren NC (eds) International Symposium on Manganese in Soils and Plants. Kluwer Academic Press, Glen Osmond

  21. Hall MA (1905) The analysis of the soil by means of the plant. Journal of Agricultural Science 1:65–88

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Holland JE, Luck GW, Finlayson C (2015) Threats to food production and water quality on the Murray-Darling Basin of Australia. Ecosystem Services Ecosystem Services 12:55–70

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Judd TS, Attiwill PM, Adams MA (1996) Nutrient concentrations in Eucalyptus: a synthesis in relation to differences between taxa, sites and components. In: Adams PMAaMA (ed) Nutrition of Eucalypts. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, p 123–153

  24. Kingsford RT, Walker KF, Lester RE, Young WJ, Fairweather PG, Sammut J, Geddes MC (2011) A Ramsar wetland in crisis - the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth, Australia. Marine Freshwater Research 62:255–265

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Kitao M, Lei T, Nakamura T, Koike T (2001) Manganese toxicity as indicated by visible foliar symptoms of Japanese white birch (Betula platyphylla var. japonica). Environmental Pollution 11:89–94

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Kotsonis A, Cameron KJ, Bowler JM, Joyce EB (1999) Geomorphology of the Hattah Lakes region on the River Murray, southeastern Australia: a record of late quaternary climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 111:27

    Google Scholar 

  27. Kozlowski TT (1997) Responses of woody plants to flooding and salinity. Tree Physiology Mongraph No 1:1–29

    Google Scholar 

  28. LeBlanc M, Tweed S, Djik AV, Timbal B (2012) A review of historic and future hydrological changes in the Murray-Darling Basin. Global Planetary Change 80–81:226–246

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Leeper GW, Uren NC (1997) Soil Science - an Introduction. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne

    Google Scholar 

  30. Lynch JP, StClair SB (2004) Mineral stress: the missing link in understanding how global climate change will affect plants in real world soils. Fields Crops Research 90:101–115

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Maathuis FJM (2009) Physiological functions of mineral macronutrients. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 12:250–258

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Marschner H (2002) Mineral nutrition of higher plants. Academic, London

    Google Scholar 

  33. McNaulty SG, Boggs JL, Sun G (2014) The rise of mediocre forest: why chronically stressed trees may better survive extreme edpisodic climate variability. New Forest 45:403–415

    Google Scholar 

  34. MDBA (2012) Assessment of environmental water requirements for the proposed Basin Plan: Hattah lakes. MDBA Publication 23/12. Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra, ACT 2602

  35. Miller AJ (2014) Plant Mineral Nutrition. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Wiley (ed), Chichester

  36. Miller AC, Watling JR, Overton IC, Sinclair R (2003) Does water status of Eucalyptus largiflorens (Myrtaceae) affect infection by the mistletoe Amyema miquelii (Loranthaceae)? Functional Plant Biology 30:1239–1247

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Moroni MT, Worledge D, Beadle CL (2003) Root distribution of Eucalyptus nitens and E. globulus in irrigated and droughted soil. Forest Ecology and Management 177:399–407

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Moxham C, Duncan M, Moloney P (2018) Tree health and regeneration response of Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) to recent flooding. Ecological Management and Restoration 19:58–65

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Munns R, Gilliham M (2015) Salinity tolerance of crops–what is the cost? New Phytologist 208:668–673

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Narteh LT, Sahrawat KL (1999) Influence of flooding on electrochemical andmchemical properties of West African soils. Geoderma 87:179–207

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Navascus J, Perez-Rontome C, Sanchez DH, Staudinger C, Wienkoop S, Rellan-Alvarez R, Becana M (2011) Oxidative stress is a consequence, not a cause, of aluminium toxicity in the forage legume Lotus corniculatus. New Phytologist 193:625–636

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  42. Overton IC, Colloff MJ, Doody TM, Henderson B, Cuddy SM (2009). In: Overton MJCIC, Doody TM, Henderson B, Cuddy SM (eds) Ecological outcomes of flow regimes in the Murray-Darling Basin. CSIRO, Canberra

  43. Overton iC, Coff B, Mollison D, Barling R, Fels K, Boyd A (2018) Black box management framework: a framework for managing floodplain and wetland black box eucalypts in the Murray-Darling Basin. In: J. G. A. P. Ltd (ed) Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, Department of the Environment and Energy

  44. Paradis R, Saint-Laurent D (1993) Spatial distribution of organic carbon and nitrogen in soils related to flood recurrence intervals and land use changes in Southern Québec, Canada. Journal of Soil Science Environmental Management 8:25–36

    Google Scholar 

  45. Pittock J, Finlayson CM (2011) Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin: freshwater ecosystem conservation options in an era of climate change. Marine Freshwater Research 62:232–243

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Ponnamperuma FN (1972) The chemistry of submerged soils. Advances in Agronomy 24:29–26

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Rengasamy P (2006) World salinization with emphasis on Australia. Journal of Experimental Botany 57:1017–1023

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Rout G, Samantaray S, Das P (2001) Al toxicity in plants: a review. Agronomie EDP Sciences 21:3–21

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Satawathananont S, Patrick WH, Moore PA (1991) Effect of controlled redox conditions on metal solubility soil. Plant and Soil 133:281–290

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Siman A, Cradock FW, Hudson AW (1974) The development of manganese toxicity in pasture legumes under extreme climatic conditions. Plant and Soil 41:129–140

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Singleton PL, Edmeades DC, Smarte RE, Wheeler DM (1987) Soil acidity and aluminium and manganese toxicity in the Te Kauwhata area North Island New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 30:517–522

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Slavich PG, Walker GR, Jolly ID, Hatton TJ, Dawes WR (1999) Dynamics of Eucalyptus largiflorens growth and water use in response to modified watertable and flooding regimes on a saline floodplain. Agricultural Water Management 39:245–264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Smith JL, Doran JW (1996) Measurement and use of pH and electrical conductivity for soil quality analysis. In: Jones JWDaAJ (ed), Methods for assessing soil quality. Soil Science Society of America, Madison

  54. StClair SB, Lynch JP (2004) Photosynthetic and antioxidative enzyme responses of sugar maple and red maple sedlings to excess manganese in contrasting light environments. Functional Plant Biology 31:1005–1014

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. StClair SB, Lynch JP (2005) Differences in the success of sugar maple and red maple seedlings on acid soils are influenced by nutrient dynamics and light environment. Plant, Cell and Environment 28:874–885

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  56. StClair SB, Lynch JP (2010) The opening of Pandora’s Box: climate change impacts on soil fertility and crop nutrition in developing countries. Plant and Soil 335:101–115

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  57. StClair SB, Carlson JE, Lynch JP (2005) Evidence for oxidative stress in sugar maple stands growing on acidic, nutrient imbalanced forest soils. Oecologia 145:258–269

    Google Scholar 

  58. Swirepik JL, Burns IC, Dyer FJ, Neave IA, O’Brien MG, Pryde GM, Thompson RM (2016) Establishing environmental water requirements for the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia’s largest developed river system. River Research Applications 32:1153–1165

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Taiz L, Zeiger E (2002) Plant physiology, 3rd edn. Sinauer Associates, Inc, Sunderland

  60. Tinker PB (1981) Levels, distribution and chemical forms of trace elements in food plants. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 294:41–55

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  61. Ulrich A (1952) Physiological bases for assessing the nutritional requirements of plants. Annual Reveiws of Plant Physiology 3:207–228

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Wallace TA, Gehrig SL, Doody TM, Davies MI, Walsh R, Fulton C, Cullen R, Nolan M (2019) A multiple lines of evidence approach for prioritising environmental watering of wetland and floodplain trees. Ecohydrology. https://doi.org/10.1002/eco.2272. (in press)

  63. White RE (1997) Principles and Practices of Soil Science - the Soil as a Natural Resource. Blackwell Science, Melbourne

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by Eucalypt Australia and the Australian Research Council (grant no. 120100510). We thank Jane Roberts for help in the preparation of this manuscript, and Parks Victoria for fieldwork support and expert advice.

Funding

The research was supported by Eucalypt Australia and the Australian Research Council (grant no. 120100510).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

DF and AF undertook all fieldwork, sample preparation, data analyses and collation, figures, manuscript preparation. GK and TD contributed substantially to manuscript preparation, figures and statistics.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Denise R. Fernando.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest. 

Consent to Participate

All authors consent to participate.

Consent for Publication

All authors give their consent for publication.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Fernando, D.R., Fernando, A.E., Koerber, G.R. et al. Tree‐soil Interactions Through Water Release to a Floodplain Ecosystem: a Case Study of Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) on Loamy Sands. Wetlands 41, 17 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-021-01419-4

Download citation

Keywords

  • Lake Konardin
  • Lake Woterap
  • Lake Mournpall
  • Hattah Kulkyne
  • Environmental watering
  • Nutritional dynamics
  • Murray‐darling Basin