Four years of sheep exclusion shows no changes in understorey composition in grazed woodlands of southern Queensland

Le Brocque, Andrew F. and Zammit, Charlie (2010) Four years of sheep exclusion shows no changes in understorey composition in grazed woodlands of southern Queensland. In: Ecological Society of Australia 2010 Annual Conference: Sustaining Biodiversity - the next 50 Years (ESA 2010), 6-10 Dec 2010, Canberra, ACT, Australia. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Retaining trees in low-input, low-productivity grazing systems in southern Queensland can provide biodiversity benefits without adversely impacting upon production. Although previous research conducted during period of extended drought, may have failed to determine the overall biodiversity potential in relation to management practices. We describe a grazing exclusion trial designed to monitor biodiversity changes following the removal of grazing in the Traprock wool producing region of southern Queensland. Eighteen sites across 10 properties were sampled across two vegetation types (grassy box woodland and ironbark/gum woodland), three overstorey tree densities (<6 trees/ha; 6-20 trees/ha; >20 trees/ha), and three exclosure types (full exclosure; partial exclosure and control (open). Exclosures were established in 2005 and sampled over a four year period for understorey composition and above-ground biomass. No differences were apparent in composition between exclosure treatments (ANOSIM, p > 0.05), although patterns were observed in overstorey tree density treatments within vegetation types. There were no differences (p > 0.05) in biomass between exclosures, although significantly higher plant biomass was observed in low density treatments. Exclusion of grazing has not significantly altered composition after 4 years. However, above-ground biomass has responded to the removal of grazing in open paddock areas. A longer period of exclusion may be necessary to detect changes (if any) in plant species composition.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Unrefereed paper, and is not available.
Depositing User: Dr Andrew Le Brocque
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2011 00:03
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2012 06:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: grazing exclusion; sheep; biodiversity changes; understorey vegetation; Queensland
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function
06 Biological Sciences > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology(excl. Invasive Species Ecology)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960906 Forest and Woodlands Land Management
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960910 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Land and Water Management
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960510 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Environments
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18349

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