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Gardening the wild: change in the flora and vegetation of suburban coastal reserve 1911-2013

Citation

Ivey-Law, M and Kirkpatrick, JB, Gardening the wild: change in the flora and vegetation of suburban coastal reserve 1911-2013, Geographical Research, 53, (2) pp. 121-133. ISSN 1745-5863 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Institute of Australian Geographers

DOI: doi:10.1111/1745-5871.12105

Abstract

Intensively used and managed remnants of native vegetation in cities can have characteristics that result as much from ecological gardening as processes independent of humans. We test the degree to which the changes in vegetation of the Bayside Reserve, Melbourne, are consistent with the outcome we would expect from an ecologically gardened nature and to what degree they reflect ongoing processes of exotic invasion and synthetic vegetation dynamics. We compared species lists from 1911, 1971 and 2013 and sample area data from 1971 and 2013. The flora became richer and more exotic, although some native plant species lost in 1971 had been reintroduced to the reserve in 2013. Between 1971 and 2013, the vegetation increased in cover, shrub and tree density, sample areas species richness, and nativeness, the latter two results being inconsistent with the usual patterns of increasing exoticness and decline in species richness with shrub and tree encroachment. These variations from normality were likely to have resulted from the impacts of planting of natives and weeding of exotics, activity that has created combinations of species that probably never occurred in pre-European vegetation. Although it might not be possible to return to pre-European ecosystems within this vegetation remnant, the gardened approximation helps some locally uncommon species survive and may make people more sympathetic to nature conservation as a whole.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:vegetation, coastal, urban, change, exotic plants, extinction, interagency, planting, restoration, synthetic vegetation, weeding
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of environments not elsewhere classified
Author:Ivey-Law, M (Ms Megan Ivey-Law)
Author:Kirkpatrick, JB (Professor James Kirkpatrick)
ID Code:105887
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2016-01-19
Last Modified:2016-08-24
Downloads:0

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