Prediction of agricultural potential from intact forest vegetation.
Spot-lists, totalling 870 plant species, were compiled for a set of 38 rain forest sites in eastern Australia, and for a corresponding set of near-by cleared sites. Intact and cleared sites were separately ordinated with respect to floristic composition, and the ordinations were compared by canonical procedures. The first five vectors of each set could be meaningfully interpreted and the canonical correlations between intact and cleared sets were very high. Even after some years of clearing and management, the original soil/climate pattern was still strongly manifested. Certain sites were chosen as 'calibration-points' for particular forms of agricultural exploitation. Comparable sites, potentially suitable for the same type of exploitation, could then be identified by examination of the first two 'intact' vectors alone. The advantages and limitations of the method are briefly discussed. KEYWORDS: Indicators plant communities \ Soil fertility and nutrients fertility vegetation as an indicator \ Vegitation types, general indicator value \ Vegitation types, general relation \ soil