Plant strategies, dispersal and origins of flora at the northern Coral Sea Islands Territory, Australia

  • A checklist of vascular plants of Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve (CHNNR) (17º 11’S, 149º 00’ E to 16º 23’S, 150º 30’E and Willis Island (16º 24’S, 149º 58’E) at the northern Coral Sea Islands Territory of Australia compiled during 2006/07 surveys, recorded 30 species including 18 species indigenous to the Coral Sea Islands (60%), 10 exotic species (33%) and two that were planted (7%). Plant life-forms included: 5 species of trees and tall shrubs (17%), 2 species of low shrubs (6.5%), 21 herbs (70%), and 2 vine/creepers (6.5%). Plant dispersal for the 30 species is predominantly by human activities (40%), ocean currents (33%) and seabirds (27%). The garden species and dispersal modes at Willis Island indicate that non-residential casual human visitation at CHNNR has at present had little effect on establishment of exotic weeds. Resilience of leverage flora, floristic diversity and species origins of CHNNR are discussed in relation to its connectivity with the Melanesian region due to the South Equatorial Current operating in the region. Colubrina asiatica was recorded as a new record for oceanic islands in Australian territories. Previously recorded Ximenia americana and Digitaria ctenantha are considered locally extinct. Pattern analyses indicate that cays of similar size and vegetation structure are the most similar in floristic composition. Willis Island flora is relatively dissimilar to the CHNNR cays, due to the influence of anthropogenic activities associated with a staffed weather station.

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Author:George N. Batianoff, Gillian C. Naylor, Hans A. Dillewaard, V. John Neldner
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:10
First Page:97
Last Page:106
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