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Fauna community trends during early restoration of alluvial open forest/woodland ecosystems on former agricultural land

Smith, Geoffrey C. and Lewis, Tom and Hogan, Luke D. (2015) Fauna community trends during early restoration of alluvial open forest/woodland ecosystems on former agricultural land. Restoration Ecology, 23 (6). pp. 787-799. ISSN 1526-100X

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rec.12269

Abstract

Vertebrate fauna was studied over 10 years following revegetation of a Eucalyptus tereticornis ecosystem on former agricultural land. We compared four vegetation types: remnant forest, plantings of a mix of native tree species on cleared land, natural regeneration of partially cleared land after livestock removal, and cleared pasture land with scattered paddock trees managed for livestock production. Pasture differed significantly from remnant in both bird and nonbird fauna. Although 10 years of ecosystem restoration is relatively short term in the restoration process, in this time bird assemblages in plantings and natural regeneration had diverged significantly from pasture, but still differed significantly from remnant. After 10 years, 70 and 66% of the total vertebrate species found in remnant had been recorded in plantings and natural regeneration, respectively. Although the fauna assemblages within plantings and natural regeneration were tracking toward those of remnant, significant differences in fauna between plantings and natural regeneration indicated community development along different restoration pathways. Because natural regeneration contained more mature trees (dbh > 30 cm), native shrub species, and coarse woody debris than plantings from the beginning of the study, these features possibly encouraged different fauna to the revegetation areas from the outset. The ability of plantings and natural regeneration to transition to the remnant state will be governed by a number of factors that were significant in the analyses, including shrub cover, herbaceous biomass, tree hollows, time since fire, and landscape condition. Both active and passive restoration produced significant change from the cleared state in the short term.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:active restoration offsets open forest/woodland passive restoration vertebrate fauna
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural conservation
Forestry > Research. Experimentation
Forestry > Conservation and protection
Animal culture
Deposited On:09 Feb 2016 00:51
Last Modified:09 Feb 2016 01:19

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