Poyitt, Mary-Anne (School: Yokohama Science Frontier High School)
Revegetation and regeneration of native areas are occurring constantly in a variety of places. Corridors of bushland are important refuges and links for native flora and fauna. Along creeks, they also play an important role in controlling erosion. But random regeneration is not the best option. For the best results to occur, locally native species must be planted to mimic the ecosystem that would have naturally occurred before human interference. This study sought to determine the species present in a Sydney sandstone gully forest and their distribution in order to assist in the ongoing regeneration of the creek running through Redeemer Baptist School in North Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. To determine this, investigations including plant surveys, soil surveys and the measuring of slope gradients were conducted. This data was then analysed using ANOVA analysis and Simpson's Diversity Index to identify any similarities and to determine the largest contributing factor to species distribution in the study area. This study found that in the surveyed area of a Sydney sandstone gully forest, the most important factor influencing plant distribution was not soil type or the distance from the creek but rather the elevation above the creek.
Third Award of $1,000