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Exotic Plants on Lord Howe Island: Distribution in Space and Time, 1853-1981

John Pickard
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 11, No. 3 (May, 1984), pp. 181-208
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2844639
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2844639
Page Count: 28
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Exotic Plants on Lord Howe Island: Distribution in Space and Time, 1853-1981
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Abstract

One hundred and seventy-three exotic angiosperms form 48.2% of the angiosperm flora of Lord Howe Island (31circ 35′ S, 159circ 05′ E) in the south Pacific Ocean. The families Poaceae (23%) and Asteraceae (13%) dominate the exotic flora. Some 30% are native to the Old World, 26% from the New World and 14% from Eurasia. Exotics primarily occur on heavily disturbed areas but c. 10% are widely distributed in undisturbed vegetation. Analysis of historical records, eleven species lists over the 128 years 1853-1981, shows that invasion has been a continuous process at an exponential rate. Exotics have been naturalized at the overall rate of 1.3 species y-1. Most exotics were deliberately introduced as pasture species or accidentally as contaminants although ornamental plants are increasing. Exotics show some evidence of invading progressively less disturbed habitats but the response of each species is individualistic. As introduction of exotics is a social rather than an ecological problem, the present pattern will continue.

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