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Plant composition of three woodland communities of variable condition in the western Riverina, New South Wales, Australia

By David J. Eldridge, Terry B. Koen and Louise Harrison

Abstract

We examined differences in floristics among three regionally-threatened woodland communities in the western Riverina: Blackbox (Eucalyptus largiflorens), Bimble box-Pine (Eucalyptus populnea-Callitris glaucophylla) and Boree (Acacia pendula) between 2001 and 2004. Our aim was to examine possible relationships between the diversity and biomass of groundstorey vegetation, and remnant condition and rainfall both among communities and across years. The three woodland communities varied widely in their plant species composition, with only 22% of the 358 species common to all communities. Seven species, mainly exotic grasses and forbs, contributed 25% of the total cover across all sites and times. Blackbox communities had the greatest number of exotic and annual species. There were poor relationships between condition and diversity, richness, evenness or abundance of groundstorey plant species within 400 m2 quadrats. Overall, sites in better condition tended to support a greater cover of native plants and a lower cover of exotic plants (Blackbox only). There were only weak relationships between rainfall and biomass. The marked variation in species diversity in relation to changing seasonal conditions and within similar condition classes highlights the difficulties of developing benchmarks for separating the effects of management, and seasonal and longer-term climate change

Topics: ddc:580
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:publikationen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de:29356

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