The clock is ticking - Revegetation and habitat for birds and arboreal mammals in rural landscapes of southern Australia

P.A. Vesk, R. Mac Nally

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    122 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    European land-use has profoundly affected the extent, distribution and structure of Australian native vegetation and these changes have much affected biodiversity and ecosystem processes in agricultural landscapes. We consider the prospects for vegetation and biodiversity under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario in which management practices continue as they have been conducted for more than a century. This scenario provides a bleak outlook for ecological health of rural landscapes in southern Australia. The nation is poised at the threshold of a phase of rebuilding rural landscapes, a complex process of managing land-use change for multiple benefits. Assessment of the ecological or biodiversity benefits of revegetation activities is needed for the multi-objective planning processes. Therefore, this paper discusses how landscape reconstruction, and principally revegetation, affect larger, mobile biota such as birds and arboreal mammals. Time-lags in vegetation maturation and senescence are identified as a major influence on the likely success of landscape reconstruction in dealing with probable widespread collapse of terrestrial biodiversity in the wheat-sheep belts of southern Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)356-366
    Number of pages11
    JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
    Volume112
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Fingerprint

    rural landscape
    revegetation
    land restoration
    mammal
    mammals
    biodiversity
    bird
    birds
    habitat
    habitats
    vegetation
    senescence
    planning process
    sheep
    land use change
    maturation
    biota
    management practice
    agricultural land
    wheat

    Cite this

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    abstract = "European land-use has profoundly affected the extent, distribution and structure of Australian native vegetation and these changes have much affected biodiversity and ecosystem processes in agricultural landscapes. We consider the prospects for vegetation and biodiversity under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario in which management practices continue as they have been conducted for more than a century. This scenario provides a bleak outlook for ecological health of rural landscapes in southern Australia. The nation is poised at the threshold of a phase of rebuilding rural landscapes, a complex process of managing land-use change for multiple benefits. Assessment of the ecological or biodiversity benefits of revegetation activities is needed for the multi-objective planning processes. Therefore, this paper discusses how landscape reconstruction, and principally revegetation, affect larger, mobile biota such as birds and arboreal mammals. Time-lags in vegetation maturation and senescence are identified as a major influence on the likely success of landscape reconstruction in dealing with probable widespread collapse of terrestrial biodiversity in the wheat-sheep belts of southern Australia.",
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