Journal article

Floods reduce the prevalence of exotic plant species within the riparian zone: evidence from natural floods

Joe Greet, J Angus Webb, Roger D Cousens



QUESTIONS: Does flooding reduce the prevalence of exotic plant species and promote native riparian plant species? LOCATION: Field study, two regulated lowland rivers, SE Australia. METHODS: We used a large flood in spring to test predictions of vegetation response to flooding. We predicted that the species richness of exotic taxa (mostly terrestrial annual/biennial grasses and forbs in the study systems) would be reduced by flooding, while the richness of native riparian species adapted to fluvial disturbance would increase. We surveyed the riparian vegetation at three sites on each of two regulated rivers in the summers before and after a large flood in early spring that inundated all of th..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Alex Fremier, Ashley Macqueen, Justin Trounson, William Bovill and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript; Graham Hepworth for help with statistical analyses; and the Wilsons for permitting access to their property. Joe Greet was supported by a Melbourne Research Scholarship and an eWater top-up scholarship for this research.