Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 569–583 | Cite as

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

  • Claire MoxhamEmail author
  • Vivienne Turner


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.


Coastal Woodlands Melaleuca lanceolata Vegetation condition Fragmentation Land use change Biodiversity planning 



The authors would like to thank Gidja Walker, Imelda Douglas and Steve Sinclair for field support. Extra thanks to Steve Sinclair for brain storming and manuscript comments. Anna Murphy and two unknown reviewers also provided valuable manuscript comments. This work was funded through the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, the National Heritage Trust and the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment.


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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Rights of Australia 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sustainability and EnvironmentThe Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental ResearchHeidelbergAustralia

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