Royal National Park – Lessons for the Future from the Past

P. Adam


The area now known as Royal National Park was one of the first sites in the world designated as a national park. In 1879 the concept of a national park was very different from that held today, and in the decades following establishment of the Park substantial alterations to large areas were carried out by the Trustees. Despite these disturbances the Park retains many of its biodiversity values and still meets current criteria for designation as a national park. What the history of Royal National Park tells us about reserve selection processes is explored.One of the outstanding features of Royal National Park is the floristic diversity of its sclerophyll communities. In Australia such diversity is characteristic of areas with low soil fertility, and is a function of geological history. The consequences of the relationship between soils and flora for conservation in a changing world are discussed.

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