Seed production and mortality in a rare Banksia species.
B. tricuspis is a small (up to 4 m) tree restricted to a 50 km2 area of fire-prone sclerophyllous heath and scrub in Western Australia. In a study in the 19th yr after a fire, 16 500 ovules were produced per adult, 69.7% of flower heads were destroyed by moth larvae and cockatoos, 2.3% of florets in undamaged flower heads set fruit which reached maturity, 43.2% of young seeds in mature fruits aborted, and 15% of mature seed were consumed by beetle larvae. Marked senescence and spontaneous release of seeds occurred in the 4th and subsequent years. Canopy-stored viable seeds per adult averaged 84. All viable seeds were released in response to an autumn wildfire. Seedling establishment only occurred immediately after the fire.