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The Biology And Ecology Of The River Red Gum

            The Biology and Ecology of the River Red Gum.
             The river red gum or Eucalyptus camaldulnesis is of the Myrtaceae family. The biology and ecology of the river red gum can be best described by analysing its habitat, growth form, environment and adaptations, its ecological role, reproduction and dispersal and management of genetic resources. .
             Species and habitat.
             The most widespread Eucalypt species in Australia occurring in virtually every mainland state is the Eucalyptus camaldulnesis of the Myrtaceae family, commonly known as the river red gum. E. camaldulensis is part of the Eucalyptus subgenus Symohyomytrus section Exsertaria' (EUCLID 2003:3). The river red gum originates from Australia growing in abundance along the Murray-Darling river systems and other river systems of the east coast, north Eyre Peninsula, the Nullarbor Plain and south-western Western Australia; also in the hills of the Mount Lofty Ranges and plain around Adelaide and south-eastern South Australia. (Read 1994:157).
             Growth form and description:.
             The structures of the river red gum are closely related to their functions. Its protective bark, deep root system, adaptive properties of the leaves and its flowering system are examples of these. .
             The bark of the river red gum is smooth, which is a characteristic of all gums. The colour of the bark is generally white or grey, although it can vary with some barks being yellowish, pinkish or brown. The twigs however are reddish in colour. The bark is shed annually to increase the diameter of the stem (Duke 1983:4; Read 1994:155).
             The lateral root system of the river red gum allows it to penetrate deep into soils to obtain sufficient water and nutrients necessary. Young roots descend vertically into the soil providing the start of the taproot system, which is so vital for the survival of the tree (Jacobs 1955:221). .
             The leaves of the river red gum are suitably adapted to the harsh Australian environment.

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