, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 569-583

The effect of fragmentation on the threatened plant community Coastal Moonah Woodland in Victoria, Australia

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Coastal vegetation is under increasing pressure with the expansion of urban developments, tourism, population and changing climates. This study sought to examine the effects of fragmentation on the threatened plant community, Coastal Moonah Woodland, in southern Victoria, Australia. We examined the effects on community composition of surrounding land use (urban, rural, native vegetation), remnant size and environmental attributes at three spatial scales. At larger scales, geographic and environmental attributes, such as annual rainfall and temperature, were important drivers of community composition. At finer scales, remnant size, disturbance, weed invasion, connectivity, and immediate surrounding land use impacted more on community composition. At these scales, increasing native vegetation cover in the landscape, remnant connectivity and size positively influenced community composition. If coastal development continues at the current rate, all but a few remnants of this community will be surrounded by the urban landscape. Thus, planning for the integration of these remnants in the urban landscape through long-term management plans and community involvement is essential for the survival of these remnants.