CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Australian Journal of Botany   
Australian Journal of Botany
Journal Banner
  Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Turner Review Series
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
Awards and Prizes
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn

red arrow PrometheusWiki
blank image
Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 50(6)

Identifying ecological barriers to restoration in temperate grassy woodlands: soil changes associated with different degradation states

Suzanne M. Prober, Kevin R. Thiele and Ian D. Lunt

Australian Journal of Botany 50(6) 699 - 712
Published: 12 December 2002


Temperate grassy woodlands were once the dominant vegetation across many agricultural regions of south-eastern Australia, but most of these are now highly degraded and fragmented. Adequate conservation of these woodlands is dependent on successful ecological restoration; however, ecological barriers often limit ecosystem recovery once degrading processes are removed. To help identify these barriers, we used a state and transition framework to compare topsoils of little-disturbed (reference) and variously degraded remnants of grassy Eucalyptus albens Benth. and E. melliodora Cunn. ex Schauer woodlands. Topsoils of degraded remnants showed a repeated pattern, with the most compacted, most acidic and most depleted topsoils occurring in remnants dominated by Aristida ramosa R.Br. or Austrodanthonia H.P.Linder and Austrostipa scabra (Lindl.) S.W.L.Jacobs & J.Everett; the least compacted and most nutrient rich topsoils in remnants dominated by annual exotics; and generally intermediate topsoils in remnants dominated by Bothriochloa macra (Steud.) S.T.Blake or Austrostipa bigeniculata (Hughes) S.W.L.Jacobs & J.Everett. Surprisingly, topsoils beneath trees in reference sites (supporting Poa sieberiana Spreng.) were similar to topsoils supporting annual exotics for most soil properties. Chemical properties of topsoils from open areas of reference sites [supporting Themeda australis (R.Br.) Stapf] were usually intermediate and similar to Bothriochloa macra and Austrostipa bigeniculata topsoils. The most striking exception to these trends was for soil nitrate, which was extremely low in all reference topsoils and showed a high correlation with annual exotic abundance. We discuss the potential for positive feedbacks between soil nitrogen cycling and understorey composition and the need for intervention to assist possible nitrate-dependent transitions between annual and perennial understorey states. Dominant grasses, trees and annual weed abundance may be useful indicators of soil conditions and could inform selection of target sites, species and techniques for restoration projects.

Full text doi:10.1071/BT02052

© CSIRO 2002

blank image
Subscriber Login

PDF (445 KB) $25
 Export Citation
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016