The flora of Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales: Summary and overview

  • Although Kosciuszko National Park is one of the largest and oldest in New South Wales, the vascular flora found within it has not been fully documented. An understandable focus on the alpine and subalpine flora has resulted in a lesser focus on the flora of the extensive tracts of forest and woodlands found in the montane, tableland and lower Snowy River zones of the Park. Here we summarise and provide an overview of the entire vascular flora across the full range of floristic zones within Kosciuszko, building upon earlier summaries focussed solely on the alpine and subalpine zones. Our compilation of records resulted in a total vascular flora for Kosciuszko National Park of 1435 taxa, of which 1105 taxa (77%) are native and 330 taxa (23%) are alien, excluding cultivated taxa. Based on 1990 data for the flora of New South Wales, Kosciuszko National Park hosts 24% of the State’s native vascular flora and 26% of the State’s alien vascular flora. There are 25 species of vascular plant that are endemic to the park and all but one (Haloragis milesiae) occur in the alpine and subalpine zones. A further 86 species have their NSW occurrences confined to the park. Many of the 24 endangered or vulnerable species found within the park also have their main occurrences in treeless subalpine and alpine vegetation. An additional 105 species are at the limits of their geographic distribution, have disjunct occurrences in the park or are uncommon in the Alps and these occur across a range of floristic zones. At least one species, Euphrasia scabra, is listed as presumed extinct in the park although it occurs elsewhere in New South Wales. Although well surveyed overall, areas including the Byadbo Wilderness, Pilot Wilderness and forests on the western flanks are by comparison under sampled and will require further survey effort in future to fully document the flora of the park. Historical legacies of past land use practices and impacts from current recreational uses, as well as impacts from feral herbivores and alien plant species all pose ongoing threats to the long term survival of many plant species found within the park. The interaction of these threats with increasing temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns including snow cover and changing fire regimes will require ongoing monitoring and increased resourcing if significant changes to ecosystems are to be effectively managed.

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Author:Michael D. Doherty, Genevieve Wright, Keith L. McDougall
DOI: 10.7751/cunninghamia.2015.15.002
ISSN:0727- 9620
ISSN:2200 - 405X
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2015
Date of first Publication:2015/03/23
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/10/23
Page Number:56
First Page:13
Last Page:68
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 15 (2015)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht