Original Paper

Biodiversity and Conservation

, 17:2917

First online:

Definition of plant functional groups for informing implementation scenarios in resource-limited multi-species recovery planning

  • Robert KooymanAffiliated withNational Herbarium of NSW, Botanic Gardens TrustDepartment of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University Email author 
  • , Maurizio RossettoAffiliated withNational Herbarium of NSW, Botanic Gardens Trust

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We describe an approach to multi-species recovery planning and bio-regional biodiversity assessment that uses trait-based plant functional groups as the basis for developing threat/risk assessments for rare, threatened and ‘of concern’ species. Multi-variate methods were used to extract and test emergent groups, and additional information fields related to species life history and distributional data were added to develop a species-level information assessment matrix in spreadsheet format. Relating emergent trait-based plant functional groups to habitat was found to be the most informative approach for the subsequent development of management recommendations and landscape scale threat/risk assessment to inform recovery planning. Examples on the use of the identified groups in a management context are provided. These include higher and lower resource and data availability scenarios, and the role of selected traits in adding to or ameliorating threats and risk of extinction.


Biodiversity assessment Border ranges (Australia) Functional trait-based groups Management Rainforest Rare flora