Controlling exotic annuals in degraded Box Gum woodland understoreys in south east Australia

Ian Arthur Cole

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    55 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Like many grassy ecosystems worldwide, the grassy Box Gum woodlands of south-east Australia have been widely utilised for agriculture, resulting in a loss of native species and invasion by exotic species. Restoration goals for degraded communities often involve controlling exotic annuals, re-establishing original native dominants and returning historic ecological function, yet the lack of practical, cost-effective treatments often hinders progress.This experiment was conducted over 4 years in two grassy Box Gum woodlands variously co-dominated by Austrostipa species (tall C3 native grasses) and exotic annuals. It compared the effects of carbon addition, spring burning, spring grazing and treatment combinations on soil nutrients, exotic annual plants, the Austrostipa sward and the establishment of four native grasses (Poa sieberiana, Austrodanthonia racemosa, Themeda australis and Bothriochloa macra). The control of exotic annuals by the Austrostipa sward was also explored independently of the experimental treatments.Spring burning and grazing reduced exotic annual grasses but had no effect on exotic annual broadleafs or soil nutrients. By contrast, carbon addition reduced soil nitrate to extremely low levels and provided effective, short-term control of all exotic annuals. Carbon addition at the rate applied was so effective that burning and grazing provided no additional control in the combination treatments.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Lunt, Ian, Co-Supervisor
    • Prober, Suzanne, Co-Supervisor
    • Spooner, Peter, Co-Supervisor
    Award date01 Oct 2013
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publisher
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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