eMonocot Cyperaceae

an authoritative resource for Cyperaceae data worldwide, integrating global and regional perspectives

Restricted plant species on sub-Antarctic Macquarie and Heard Islands

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2006
Authors:Bergstrom, D. M., Turner, P. A. M., Scott, J., Copson, G., Shaw J.
Journal:Polar Biology
Keywords:[07502] Ecology: environmental biology - General and methods, [07506] Ecology: environmental biology - Plant, [07508] Ecology: environmental biology - Animal, [25280] Cyperaceae, [25305] Gramineae, [26645] Ranunculaceae, [50528] Botany: general and systematic - Floristics and distribution, [62800] Animal distribution, [86040] Leporidae, Angiospermae, Animalia, Biogeography: Population Studies, Carex trifida: species [Cyperaceae], Chordata, Chordates, Cyperaceae: Angiosperms, Dicots, Dicotyledones, feral rabbit: common [Leporidae], Gramineae: Angiosperms, Lagomorpha, Lagomorphs, Leporidae: Animals, Mammalia, Mammals, Monocots, Monocotyledones, Nonhuman Mammals, Nonhuman Vertebrates, Plantae, Plants, Poa litorosa: species [Gramineae], Ranunculaceae: Angiosperms, Ranunculus crassipes: species [Ranunculaceae], Spermatophyta, Spermatophytes, Vascular plants, Vertebrata, Vertebrates

The recent distributional history of two Macquarie Island vascular plant species, Carex trifida, Poa litorosa, and the Heard Island vascular plant, Ranunculus crassipes is examined. C. trifida is known from only one small population on the north west coast of Macquarie Island. Four populations of P. litorosa were first recorded in the 1980s; we believe however, that it was first observed, but misidentified in the 1950s. R. crassipes was first discovered on Heard Island in the late 1980s. We argue that all three species are indigenous and arrived on their respective islands within the last 200 years by natural processes, most likely from warmer neighbouring islands, where these species have more extensive distributions. There have been small-scale changes in distribution of all species, mainly expansion. Further expansion of all three species is expected as a response to warming climate. Feral rabbit grazing is having a confounding negative influence on populations of P. Norosa.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith