Effects of human disturbance on vegetation of the Kosciuszko Alpine Zone

Document Type


Publication details

Scherrer, P 1999, 'Effects of human disturbance on vegetation of the Kosciuszko Alpine Zone', paper presented at First Annual Meeting of the Australian Institute of Alpine Studies, Jindabyne, 9 December.


The vegetation of the alpine zone of Kosciuszko National Park has been exposed to various pressures since the 1830s. Grazing, tourism and most recently human induced climate change have altered, or have the potential to alter, the natural ecosystems of the area. This project examines the changes in the distribution of vegetation that have occurred since the cessation of grazing, firstly by analyzing transect data that have been collected over a period of 30 years and, secondly, by re-mapping the visual vegetation communities of the alpine zone from current aerial photography. A geographic information system (GIS) will be used to compare the past and current distribution of the plant communities. The areas directly affected by tourism activities will be assessed by mapping the tracks and trails and using experimental measures to determine width of disturbance effects caused by visitor activities. Finally, quadrat data will be collected to test the composition of the current vegetation communities and to model future changes in their distribution.