yateshobbs - Woodland Restoration in the Western Australian...

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28 Restoration Ecology Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 28–35 MARCH 1997 1997 Society for Ecological Restoration Woodland Restoration in the Western Australian Wheatbelt: A Conceptual Framework Using a State and Transition Model Colin J. Yates 1 Richard J. Hobbs 1 Abstract Woodlands dominated by Eucalyptus spp. in temper- ate southeastern and southwestern Australia have been extensively cleared for agriculture and are often badly degraded by livestock grazing. This has re- sulted in the loss of biodiversity and widespread land degradation. The continuing decline of these wood- lands has become a concern for the conservation of biodiversity, and there is a growing interest among farmers, land managers, and researchers in developing techniques for restoring them. Currently few scientific guidelines exist for undertaking woodland restoration programs. We use a state and transition model to de- velop hypotheses on restoration strategies for salmon gum ( Eucalyptus salmonophloia ) woodlands. We con- sider that this approach provides a suitable frame- work for organizing knowledge and identifying areas where further information is needed, and hence pro- vides a useful starting point for a restoration program. The model has the potential to provide a tool for land managers with which they can assess the action and effort needed to undertake woodland restoration in agricultural landscapes. Introduction oodlands dominated by Eucalyptus spp. in tem- perate southeastern and southwestern Australia W have been extensively cleared for agriculture (Carnahan 1990; Hobbs et al. 1993; Prober & Thiele 1993). For ex- Western Australian wheatbelt only 10% of the Eucalyp- tus loxophleba (York gum) woodlands and 20% of Euca- lyptus salmonophloia / Eucalyptus salubris (salmon gum/ gimlet) woodlands remain. Furthermore, a substantial proportion of the remnant woodlands in Australia’s ce- real-growing regions occur as isolated patches that are often degraded by livestock grazing, with no under- story remaining and little or no regeneration of the tree Australia approximately 40% of remnant E. salmonophloia woodlands had little or no understory, 57% had no tree species in the size class of 0–10 cm stem diameter at breast height (dbh), and 28% had no tree species in the 10–20 cm dbh size class (Norton et al. 1995). Similarly, in a large proportion of the New South Wales wheat- belt, little regeneration of the dominant tree species was found in remnant Eucalyptus albens (white box) wood- lands, and less than 0.01% of these woodlands re- These observations suggest that in Australia’s agricul-
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This note was uploaded on 05/09/2010 for the course C 166 taught by Professor Heidsberg during the Spring '10 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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yateshobbs - Woodland Restoration in the Western Australian...

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