My research project is looking at vegetation change on Macquarie Island. Since rabbits were eradicated from the island in 2011 the plants which had been subject to intensive grazing by these pest animals are now growing back. Nobody knows what the original vegetation of the island looked like before rabbits were introduced int he late 1800s. What will it look like in 5 years, 10 years, 100 years?
To manage the island in the future we need to understand the vegetation. What grows where and why? What are the key factors determining which plants dominate in different environments?