Neville Walsh is Senior Conservation Botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. His work involves both plant identification and classification, and, conservation. Neville's roles include naming and describing new plant species and investigating how rare species can be conserved.
Well, as in most plant communities, there are some species that are ‘specialists’ and occur only in those communities, and others that are ‘generalists’ and have the ability to grow in a wide range of conditions – so they may occur through many communities through the state. The same is true of animals – it’s a different evolutionary pathway that organisms follow – either to spread themselves evenly across the landscape, or to congregate into a relatively small area where particular conditions prevail. The reasons plants may not be able to grow outside a particular area may be that the...