Management of the flora utilised by the European honey bee in kwongan of the Northern Sandplain of Western Australia

Ray Wills

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

43 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

[Truncated] The honey industry in Western Australia relies on the native sclerophyll shrublands of the Northern Sandplain of Western Australia as a source of pollen and nectar over winter. Loss of floral resources as a result of fire can have dramatic consequences to the apicultural industry. The study was directed at identifying environmental and biological factors of importance in determining the floristic resource for the foraging honey bee in this region and to use these data to explore ecologically-based management strategies which would enhance apicultural production without deteriously affecting the conservation values of the region.

A total of 413 vascular plant species from 192 genera in 66 families were identified from the study region, with the Myrtaceae and the Proteaceae contributing the largest number of species. Vegetation floristics and foliage projective covers were assessed at 90 permanent monitoring sites. A range of community types with variable diversity were found through the study region. Pedogeomorphic, climatic, geographic, phylogenetic and pyric factors all contributed to the observed diversity and abundance in floristic patterns. Overall, plant distributions were largely correlated with geologically-defined soil formations, but moisture gradients, proximity to or distance from other plant communities, phylogenetic contraints on habitat and dispersability, and the frequency of fire all may have influenced floristic composition in some way.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
DOIs
Publication statusUnpublished - 1989

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