Biodiversity and Conservation

, 17:2917 | Cite as

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

  • Robert KooymanEmail author
  • Maurizio Rossetto
Original Paper


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 



This project was partly funded by the New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change, Andrew Hall, and Rainforest Rescue. We acknowledge the support of the BRBMP team from NSW DECC, Paul Houlder for providing the map and Chris Allen, Doug Benson, Caroline Gross and Bob Makinson for providing comments on an earlier draft. The manuscript was substantially improved by the detailed and helpful comments provided by two anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Herbarium of NSWBotanic Gardens TrustSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesMacquarie UniversityNSWAustralia

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