Year

2001

Degree Name

Master of Science (Hons.)

Department

School of Geosciences

Abstract

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have only recently been applied to ecological research and environmental management applications. GIS provide opportunities for exploring spatial relationships between plant species and cultural and environmental characters in the landscape that would otherwise be extremely expensive or impossible to investigate (Smith et al. 1995). This research uses a widely adopted and available GIS in Australia, called Arcview® to analyse cultural and environmental data sets of the landscape, together with weed distribution data for five weed species that occur in the region. The boundary of the Royal National Park (RNP), Sydney was used as an example of an area gazetted for nature conservation and which is fragmented and isolated by human occupation and infrastructure and is therefore, highly vulnerable to weed infestation. The weed species studied included: Ageratina adenophora (Crofton weed), Lantana camara (common Lantana), Ligustrum sp. (Privet), Senna pendula (Cassia) and Rubus vulgaris (Blackberry). All of these weed species have the ability to invade natural bushland (each has be classified as an 'environmental weed' in other regions), and all have been in the RNP region for at least twenty years.

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