Keith McDougall is a botanist with the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (PO Box 2115, Queanbeyan, NSW 2620, Australia. Email: email@example.com). John Morgan is a lecturer and plant ecologist at the Department of Botany, La Trobe University (Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia. Email: J.Morgan@latrobe.edu.au). This work commenced in the mid 1980s and, with the toil of many volunteers, has greatly changed the appearance of former agricultural land at Organ Pipes National Park on the outskirts of Melbourne.
Establishment of native grassland vegetation at Organ Pipes National Park near Melbourne, Victoria: Vegetation changes from 1989 to 2003
Article first published online: 29 MAR 2005
Ecological Management & Restoration
Volume 6, Issue 1, pages 34–42, April 2005
How to Cite
McDougall, K. L. and Morgan, J. W. (2005), Establishment of native grassland vegetation at Organ Pipes National Park near Melbourne, Victoria: Vegetation changes from 1989 to 2003. Ecological Management & Restoration, 6: 34–42. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-8903.2005.00217.x
- Issue published online: 29 MAR 2005
- Article first published online: 29 MAR 2005
- Kangaroo Grass;
- seed sowing;
Summary Native grassland establishment works undertaken on former agricultural land at Organ Pipes National Park, Victoria, during the 1980s were monitored from 1989 to 2003 to assess whether re-introduced native plant populations had established and persisted at the site. Trends in vegetation were determined by examining the composition and cover of native and weed species in permanent transects at 2-year intervals. The average number of native and weed species in plots changed little over 15 years, although weed species richness exhibited great variability. Of the 85 native species introduced to the grassland by seed, sods and tubestock, 33 were still present in 2003. The dominant native species, Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra), the native intertussock spear grasses (Austrostipa spp.), and the nationally endangered Large-headed Groundsel (Senecio macrocarpus), have become common elements of the grassland but most other native species remain minor components. The cover of native and weed species has fluctuated dramatically over the study period in response to fire and drought. While the site remains largely weedy, the project has served to introduce native species into a secure reserve. It is clear that on-going management (weed control, fire) and supplemental plantings will be necessary to maintain and expand the native species populations in the re-established grassland.