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autumn deaths - a query

Philip Groom p.groom at cowan.edu.au
Wed Jul 7 12:49:17 EST 1999

Just a quick query for list members to consider.

Recently a collegue of mine has observed high levels of plant death
during autumn - which can't be explained in terms of pathogens or
lowering groundwater levels.  Preliminary work suggests that death
occurs only during late autumn in response to a drop in average night
temperatures, followed by above average day temperatures.  The leaves of
the plants quickly change colour (green to a paler colour) and die
within 10 days.  A preliminary ecophysiologocal assessment suggests some
sort of stomatal dysfunction occurring.  This phenomenon is not
restricted to plants in the field, but also native and horticultural
plants in nurseries, and is very patchy.  All obeservations have been
recorded close to Perth, capital city of Western Australia, which has a
typical 'mediterranean-type' climate.

My question is - has this phenomenon been recorded elsewhere in the
world - particularly in areas experiencing mediterranean-type climates.
Any references on similar scenarios would be appreciated.


Dr Philip Groom

Dr Philip Groom
School of Natural Sciences
Edith Cowan University
Joondalup 6027
Western Australia

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