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Mr Conrad Slee

Overview of thesis

The assessment of ecosystem risk in Banksia woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia.

Banksia woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain have been subjected to extensive clearing over the past decades and more is planned for the future. New approaches are now required to inform future decision making in the presence of existing and emerging threats.

There are numerous floristic community types within Banksia woodlands, of which several are threatened. This study will focus on the Banksia attenuata woodlands with species rich dense shrublands, a threatened ecological community (TEC) known as Swan Coastal Plain floristic community type 20a (SCP20a).  Uncertainty remains over the best approaches and practices to manage the risk of extinction/collapse. In particular, the key threatening processes, distributions, and distinctiveness/identity of sub-types Banksia woodlands are not well understood.

This research project will focus on four key aims to address knowledge gaps:

  • Develop floristic and vegetation knowledge to improve conservation outcomes for restricted Banksia woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain in Western Australia.
  • Characterise the environmental conditions associated with Banksia attenuata (SCP20a) woodlands to assist the potential development of predictive tools for identifying new localities.
  • Determine the key threatening processes and possible responses.
  • Evaluate the application of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems assessment protocols with Banksia attenuata dominated woodland (SCP20a) to determine threat status.

This project intends to include a meta-analysis of existing floristic data from a large number of sites for the Swan Coastal Plain. This will offer significant improvement in understanding from the floristic assessment of from the Swan Coastal Plain survey analysed by Gibson et al.1992. The study also intends to use spatial gap analysis to determine locations of potential additional sites, with a focus on SCP20a Banksia woodlands.   Threatening processes will be assessed along with a review of an assessment of IUCN and alternative approaches for risk assessment of ecosystems.

The project expects to identify the nature and magnitude of the long-term risk to Banksia woodlands.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), Edith Cowan University, 2003.

Research

Research Interests
  • Vegetation ecology, terrestrial ecosystems, floristic diversity, biodiversity, fire

Past Research employment history

Other work

  • Environmental consulting industry, Western Australia, 2004 - 2016

Supervisors

Contact

Mr Conrad Slee
PhD Student
Centre for Ecosystem Management
School of Science
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