Four rural cemeteries in central western NSW: Islands of Australiana in a European sea?

  • Vascular plants present in groundstoreys of variously–managed areas in four cemeteries in central western NSW – two on the Central Western Slopes (Garra and Toogong) and two on the Central Tablelands (Lyndhurst and Carcoar) – were recorded over periods of 6–10 years. It was hypothesised that (a) areas of the cemeteries with a history of nil or low disturbance would represent high quality remnant vegetation (i.e. contain a diversity of native species but few naturalised species), and (b) that clearing of woody vegetation, together with similar management (e.g. regular mowing) would result in homogenisation of the groundstoreys such that many species, native and naturalised, would be common to all sites. 344 species (176 native, 154 naturalised and 14 non–naturalised exotics) were recorded across the four cemeteries. Many native species that were rare in the surrounding agricultural lands were present in the cemeteries (enhancing their value as conservation areas) but no cemetery contained areas of groundstorey that would qualify as ‘pristine’. Across all management areas, the proportions of naturalised species in the native + naturalised floras of the cemeteries ranged from 46 to 55 %. Though never dominant, naturalised species also comprised high proportions (42 to 51 %) of the floras of the least disturbed (nil or infrequently mown) areas within each cemetery. Many (40 %) of the species recorded occurred at only one cemetery. This partly explained why the floras of similarly– managed parts of cemeteries on the Central Western Slopes were, contrary to expectations, markedly different to those on the Central Tablelands. However, within the same botanic subdivision, floras – particularly of naturalised species in regularly mown grasslands – were more similar (‘homogenised’) than those of nil or infrequently mown grasslands.

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Author:William S. Semple, Madeleine O. Rankin, Ian A. Cole, Terry B. Koen
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Publisher:Mount Annan Botanic Garden, The Administration Officer
Place of publication:Mount Annan, NSW
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2013/04/19
Year of first Publication:2009
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/04/19
Page Number:16
First Page:81
Last Page:96
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia / Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia, Volume 11, Issue 1 (2009)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht