Processes Explaining Exotic Plant Occurence in Australian Mountain Systems

Mellesa Schroder

    Research output: ThesisMasters Thesis

    51 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Mountain systems support diverse ecological communities and species adapted to extreme climatic conditions. They are also important for the ecosystem services they provide such as water resources for hydroelectricity generation and irrigation of lowland areas. Inaccessibility and extreme climate have largely protected mountains from wide scale disturbance. In the last
    century the richness of exotic plant species in mountains has increased on a world wide scale as these landscapes became more accessible through human activities and as temperatures increase under climate change.
    Research on exotic plant species in mountains has focussed on exotic species richness in disturbed areas such as roadsides or human nodes such as ski resorts. Other exotic plant studies in mountains have focused on the strong inverse correlation between elevation and exotic species richness at higher elevations. There has been limited study on the role of abiotic (not
    including temperature) and biotic factors in explaining exotic species richness or abundance.
    A smaller number of exotic plant species occur in undisturbed habitats in the Australian Alps when compared with many other lowland Australian natural systems although richness has increased since the 1950s. Exotic plant programs in the Australian Alps remain largely focused on disturbed areas with the greatest extent of exotic plant invasion. There is an increasing need
    to develop strategies to identify the potential invaders of undisturbed areas (natural habitats). However in order to detect these species we need to have a greater understanding of the processes which lead to exotic plant occurrence in disturbed and undisturbed habitats and the abiotic and biotic factors which may promote invasive species.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationMaster of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Lunt, Ian, Co-Supervisor
    • McDougall, Keith, Co-Supervisor, External person
    Award date01 Feb 2014
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publisher
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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