Dr Jose M Facelli

Associate Professor
Dr Jose M Facelli
  Org Unit Ecology and Environmental Science
  Email jose.facelli@adelaide.edu.au
  Telephone +61 8 8313 4559
  Location Floor/Room 1 04 ,  Benham Laboratories ,   North Terrace

My main research interest is the role of spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the structure and function of ecological systems. Under the guise of various different projects my laboratory  works to, ultimately, establish the various ways in which variability determines how ecological systems work.

We focus on plant ecology, particularly in arid and semi-arid lands.


This is a collaborative project with Dr. Peter Chesson (U. Arizona) to test the validity of the storage effect model to explain the coexistence of species in the annual plant guild.

We have tested experimentally the effect of rainfall variability on the structure of annual plant communities, the role of the soil seed bank, the various germination responses to environmental conditions, and the importance of spatial distribution in determining the balance between intra and interspecific competition). Future work will include more detailed studies of patterns of species distributions, the mechanisms that determine these patterns, and the consequences for coexistence between species.

Recent collaborators:

Peter Chesson (http://eebweb.arizona.edu/Faculty/chesson/)

Casey Mueller


For the last few years we have investigated the ecological characteristics of plants that invade natural ecosystems in South Australia, with the participation of several students. The main areas of study are:

Past Students:
Tanja Lenz
Interactions between native and introduced grasses in remnant natural grasslands of South Australia.


Potential use of a native parasitic plant (Cassytha pubescens) as biological control agent.

This project, funded by an ARC Linkage Grant) investigates the interactions between C. pubescens and native and invasive plants. We aims to assess the potential use of the parasite to control invasive plants such as Cytisus scoparius (broom) and Ulex europaeus (gorse). We also want to further understand the ecophysiological mechanisms of the interaction and the ecological implications. We use a combination of laboratory, glasshouse and field experiment.


Dr. Jenny Watling

Dr. Jane Prider

Hong (Stephen) Tsang

Liz Maciunas

Rob Ciroco

Noriko Wynn

Rober Cirocco


This project investigates the effects of disturbances produced by mining related activities such as mineral exploration. The plant component of the study focuses on the differences in the plant community structure and dynamics between linear clearances used for mineral prospecting and adjacent undisturbed sites.  Another aspect of the project includes the study of the requirements of native species for germination and establishment in areas used for mineral sand mining.

Participants and collaborators

Phillip Ainsley (Botanic Gardens of Adelaide)

Leanne Pound

Lindy Scott

Emma Stegless


A complete list of publications is provided below.

Please email me if you want copies of any publication.

 Facelli, J. M. and A. M. Temby. 2002. Multiple effects of shrubs on the annual plant community in arid lands of South Australia. Austral Ecology 27: 422- 432.

Facelli, E. and J. M. Facelli. 2002. Soil phosphorus heterogeneity and mycorrhizal symbiosis regulate plant intra-specific competition and size distribution. Oecologia 133: 54-61

Hastwell, G. and J. M. Facelli 2003 Facilitation in a pulsed environment: Differing effects of facilitation on growth and survivorship of the chenopod shrub Enchylaena tomentosa. Journal of Ecology 91 941-950.

Prider, J. N. and J. M. Facelli. 2004. Interactive effects of drought and shade on three arid zone chenopod shrubs with contrasting distributions in relation to tree canopies. Functional Ecology 18: 67-76.

Lenz, T. I. and J. M. Facelli. 2005 The role of seed limitation and resource availability in the recruitment of exotic annuals and native perennial grasses in a South Australian grassland. Austral Ecology 30: 684-694.

Facelli, J. M., P. Chesson, and N. Barnes. 2005. Differences in seed biology of annual plants in arid lands: a key ingredient of the stroage effect. Ecology 86:2998-3006.

Facelli J.M. and P. Chesson 2008. Cyclic dormancy, temperature and water availability control germination of Carrichtera annua. Austral Ecology 33: 324-328.

Ladd, B. and J.M. Facelli 2008. Priority effects produced by plant litter result in non-additive competitive effects. Oecologia 157:687-696.

Facelli, J.M. 2008. Specialized strategiesI: seedlings in stressful environments. In M.A Allessio Leck, V. T.Parker ans R. L. Simpson (eds) Seedling Ecology and Evolution. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Weedon, J. and Facelli J. M. 2008. Negative net-effects of shrubs on desert annuals across an experimental watering gradient. Journal of Ecology 96: 1230-1237.

Prider, J., J. Watling and J.M. Facelli 2009. Impacts of a native parasitic plant on an introduced and a native host species: implications for the control of an invasive weed. Annals of Botany 103: 107-115.

Faast, R. and J.M. Facelli. 2009 Grazing orchids: impact of florivory on two species of Caladenia (Orchidaceae). Australian Journal of Botany 57, 361-372.

Facelli J. M. and H. Springbett. 2009. Why do some species in arid lands increase under grazing? Mechanisms that favour increased abundance of Maireana pyramidata in overgrazed chenopod shrublands of South Australia. Austral Ecology. 34, 588-597.




ExpertisePlant Ecology Ecology of Arid Lands Ecology of Invasive plants Effects of grazing on natural ecosystems Revegetation disturbance ecology environmental weeds ecology native vegetation conservation rangelands grasslands native grasses mallee heathland
NotesAlt phone: (08) 8303 3999

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Entry last updated: Sunday, 24 Jan 2016

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