The Impact of Disturbances such as Recreational Areas and Roads on the Sustainability of Native Ground Flora in an Urban Eucalypt Forest Reserve in Queensland, Australia

By Barbara M. Odgers.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research assesses the sustainability of native grass populations in an urban eucalypt forest reserve in Brisbane, Australia by comparing the species composition and seasonal variation of grass species in the above-ground vegetation and the buried germinable seed banks of natural (undisturbed) and disturbed sites over five consecutive seasons. Investigations revealed that there were high similarities between non-native grass species in the vegetation and buried germinable seed banks in all the disturbed sites in all seasons. However this was not the case for the undisturbed natural sites. Studies of these sites revealed that although there was a dominance of native species, similarities between the vegetation and seed banks were low in species composition and seasonal variation of species. Consequently if non-native species from disturbed areas invade forest areas and build up a supply of buried germinable seeds they may readily displace the forest species when disturbance occurs. Action needs to be taken to stop the fragmentation and disturbance of urban forest reserves by the provision of recreational areas and access roads as these have the potential to bring about the extinction of the native grass understory and its dependent native ecosystem.

Keywords: Sustainability, Native Grasses, Urban Eucalypt Forest Reserve, Seed Banks and Vegetation

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.11-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 705.224KB).

Dr. Barbara M. Odgers

Lecturer in Science Education, School of Education , Brisbane Campus, Australian Catholic University, Australia

Dr. Barbara M Odgers is a lecturer in the School of Education at Australian Catholic University, Brisbane Campus, Australia. Her major teaching areas are science education for pre-service primary and secondary teachers and environmental studies. Her research interests are beliefs about the nature of science, science education, self efficacy and disturbance ecology.

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