Woodlands on farms in southern New South Wales: a longer-term assessment of vegetation changes after fencing

Peter Spooner, Sue Briggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Fencing resulted in a range of responses which were highly variable between sites and vegetation types. In general, fenced sites had greater tree regeneration, cover of native perennial grasses, less cover of exotic annual grasses and weeds, and less soil compaction than unfenced sites. There was greater tree recruitment in remnants to the west of the study area, and tree recruitment was positively correlated with time since fenced. Within sites, tree recruitment tended to occur in more open areas with a good cover of native perennial grasses, as compared to sites with a dense tree canopy, or dominated by exotic annuals grasses or weeds. However forty-eight per cent of fenced sites had no tree regeneration, and there was a significant decline in native perennial grasses, and increase of several unpalatable weeds in many fenced areas, suggesting certain ecological barriers may be preventing further recovery. However drought conditions and associated grazing are the most likely cause of this trend. A range of grazing strategies was implemented in fenced sites which require further research as a conservation management tool. Continued long-term monitoring is essential to detect key threats to endangered woodland remnants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalEcological Management and Restoration
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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