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 Board
Contacts
Content
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Turner Review Series
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Notice to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

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 youtube

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

 

Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 59(5)

Densely regenerating coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah) woodlands are more species-rich than surrounding derived grasslands in floodplains of eastern Australia

Megan K. Good A D, Jodi N. Price B, Peter Clarke C and Nick Reid A

A Ecosystem Management, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.
B Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, 51005, Estonia.
C Botany, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: mgood4@une.edu.au

Australian Journal of Botany 59(5) 468-479 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT11079
Submitted: 8 March 2011  Accepted: 8 July 2011   Published: 5 September 2011


 
PDF (881 KB) $25
 Export Citation
 Print
  
Abstract

Woody plant encroachment – the conversion of grasslands to tree- or shrub-dominated ecosystems – occurs in rangelands and savannas worldwide. In eastern Australia, coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah subsp. coolabah Blakely & Jacobs) regenerated densely following floods in the mid 1970s, converting derived grasslands to dense woodlands. We compared soil and groundstorey vegetation attributes of dense coolibah regeneration to adjacent derived grasslands at three grazed sites in the northern riverine plains of New South Wales. Groundstorey species richness and diversity were significantly higher and groundstorey biomass was significantly lower in dense regeneration plots than in derived grassland plots. Soils from dense regeneration had higher C : N and pH, and lower Na than soils from derived grasslands. Although groundstorey species composition differed significantly between derived grasslands and dense regeneration within sites, variation among sites was more pronounced, indicating that site factors influence community composition more than dense regeneration of coolibah. Our findings suggest that, in contrast to other studies of woody plant encroachment, dense regeneration of coolibah does not result in a decrease in plant biodiversity or soil condition.



References

Aguiar MR, Paruelo JM, Sala OE, Lauenroth WK (1996) Ecosystem responses to changes in plant functional type composition: an example from the Patagonian steppe. Journal of Vegetation Science 7, 381–390.
CrossRef |

Anthelme F, Villaret JC, Brun JJ (2007) Shrub encroachment in the Alps gives rise to the convergence of sub-alpine communities on a regional scale. Journal of Vegetation Science 18, 355–362.
CrossRef |

Archer SR (1989) Have southern Texas savannas been converted to woodlands in recent history? American Midland Naturalist 134, 545–561.

Archer SR, Scifres C, Bassham CR (1988) Autogenic succession in a subtropical savanna: conversion of grassland to thorn woodland. Ecological Monographs 58, 111–127.
CrossRef |

Beadle NCW (1948) ‘The vegetation and pastures of western New South Wales with special reference to soil erosion.’ (Government Printer: Sydney)

Bellingham PJ (1998) Shrub succession and invasibility in a New Zealand montane grassland. Australian Journal of Ecology 23, 562–573.
CrossRef |

Belsky AJ (1992) Effects of grazing, competition, disturbance and fire on species composition and diversity in grassland communities. Journal of Vegetation Science 3, 187–200.
CrossRef |

Bennett LT (1994) The expansion of Leptospermum laevigatum on the Yanakie Isthmus, Wilson’s Promontory, under changes in the burning and grazing regimes. Australian Journal of Botany 42, 555–564.
CrossRef |

Briggs JM, Hoch GA, Johnson LC (2002) Assessing the rate, mechanisms, and consequences of the conversion of tallgrass prairie to Juniperus virginiana forest. Ecosystems 5, 578–586.
CrossRef |

Briggs JM, Knapp AK, Blair JM, Heisler JL, Hoch GA, Lett MS, McCarron JK (2005) An ecosystem in transition: causes and consequences of the conversion of mesic grassland to shrubland. Bioscience 55, 243–254.
CrossRef |

Brook B, Bowman D (2006) Postcards from the past: charting the landscape-scale conversion of tropical Australian savanna to closed forest during the 20th century. Landscape Ecology 21, 1253–1266.
CrossRef |

Bureau of Meteorology (2011) Climate data online. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/index.shtml?bookmark=200

Burrell JP (1981) Invasion of coastal heaths of Victoria by Leptospermum laevigatum (J. Gaertn.) F. Muell. Australian Journal of Botany 29, 747–764.
CrossRef |

Burrows WH, Carter JO, Scanlan JC, Anderson ER (1990) Management of savannas for livestock production in north-east Australia: contrasts across the tree–grass continuum. Journal of Biogeography 17, 503–512.
CrossRef |

Butler DW, Fairfax RJ, Fensham RJ (2006) Impacts of tree invasion on floristic composition of subtropical grasslands on the Bunya Mountains, Australia. Australian Journal of Botany 54, 261–270.
CrossRef |

Clarke KR, Gorley RN (2006) ‘Primer version 6: user manual/tutorial.’ (PRIMER-E Ltd: Plymouth)

Clarke PJ (2003) Composition of grazed and cleared temperate grassy woodlands in eastern Australia: patterns in space and inferences in time. Journal of Vegetation Science 14, 5–14.
CrossRef |

Colwell RK (2006) EstimateS: statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples. Version 8. http://viceroy.eeb.uconn.edu/estimates

Costello DA, Lunt ID, Williams JE (2000) Effects of invasion by the indigenous shrub Acacia sophorae on plant composition of coastal grasslands in south-eastern Australia. Biological Conservation 96, 113–121.
CrossRef |

Cox SJ, Sivertsen DP, Bedward M (2001) Clearing of native woody vegetation in the New South Wales northern wheatbelt: extent, rate of loss and implications for biodiversity conservation. Cunninghamia 7, 101–155.

Dexter BD (1968) Flooding and regeneration of river red gum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Dehn. Bulletin 20. (Forests Commission: Melbourne)

Doerr VAJ, Doerr ED, McIntyre S, Howling G, Stol J, Davies M, Drew A, Warren G, Moore D (2009) Managing invasive native scrublands for improved biodiversity outcomes in agricultural landscapes. Report to the Central West Catchment Management Authority, Dubbo.

Dorrough J, Moxham C, Turner V, Sutter G (2006) Soil phosphorus and tree cover modify the effects of livestock grazing on plant species richness in Australian grassy woodland. Biological Conservation 130, 394–405.
CrossRef |

Ehrenfeld JG, Ravit B, Elgersma K (2005) Feedback in the plant-soil system. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30, 75–115.
CrossRef |

Eldridge DJ, Wong VNL (2005) Clumped and isolated trees influence soil nutrient levels in an Australian temperate box woodland. Plant and Soil 270, 331–342.
CrossRef | CAS |

Eldridge DJ, Bowker MA, Maestre FT, Roger E, Reynolds JF, Whitford WG (2011) Impacts of shrub encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning: towards a global synthesis. Ecology Letters 14, 709–722.

Facelli JM, Pickett STA (1991) Plant litter: its dynamics and effects on plant community structure. Botanical Review 57, 1–32.
CrossRef |

Fensham RJ, Fairfax RJ (1996) The disappearing grassy balds of the Bunya mountains, south-eastern Queensland. Australian Journal of Botany 44, 543–558.
CrossRef |

Fensham RJ, Holman JE (1998) The use of the land survey record to assess changes in vegetation structure. A case study from the Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia. The Rangeland Journal 20, 132–142.
CrossRef |

Fensham RJ, Holman JE, Cox MJ (1999) Plant species responses along a grazing disturbance gradient in Australian grassland. Journal of Vegetation Science 10, 77–86.
CrossRef |

Gill RA, Burke IC (1999) Ecosystem consequences of plant life form changes at three sites in the semiarid United States. Oecologia 121, 551–563.
CrossRef |

Grant SA, Suckling DE, Smith HK, Torvell L, Forbes TDA, Hodgson J (1985) Comparative studies of diet selection by sheep and cattle: the hill grasslands. Journal of Ecology 73, 987–1004.
CrossRef |

Harden GJ (1993) ‘Flora of New South Wales. Vol. 4.’ (University of New South Wales Press: Sydney)

Harden GJ (2000) ‘Flora of New South Wales. Vol. 1.’ (University of New South Wales Press: Sydney)

Harden GJ (2002a) ‘Flora of New South Wales. Vol. 2.’ (University of New South Wales Press: Sydney)

Harden GJ (2002b) ‘Flora of New South Wales. Vol. 3.’ (University of New South Wales Press: Sydney)

Harrington GN, Johns GG (1990) Herbaceous biomass in a Eucalyptus savanna woodland after removing trees and/or shrubs. Journal of Applied Ecology 27, 775–787.
CrossRef |

Hayden BP (1998) Ecosystem feedbacks on climate at the landscape scale. Biological Sciences 353, 5–18.
CrossRef |

Hobbs RJ, Mooney HA (1986) Community changes following shrub invasion of grassland. Oecologia 70, 508–513.
CrossRef |

Hunter JT (2005) Vegetation of Culgoa National Park, central northern New South Wales. Cunninghamia 9, 275–284.

Jackson J, Ash AJ (2001) The role of trees in enhancing soil nutrient availability for native perennial grasses in open eucalypt woodlands of north-east Queensland. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 52, 377–386.
CrossRef | CAS |

Keith DA, Orscheg C, Simpson CC, Clarke PJ, Hughes L, Kennelly SJ, Major RE, Soderquist TR, Wilson AL, Bedward M (2009) A new approach and case study for estimating extent and rates of habitat loss for ecological communities. Biological Conservation 142, 1469–1479.
CrossRef |

Kingsford RT (2000) Ecological impacts of dams, water diversions and river management on floodplain wetlands in Australia. Austral Ecology 25, 109–127.
CrossRef |

Knapp PA, Soule PT (1998) Recent Juniperus occidentalis (western juniper) expansion on a protected site in central Oregon. Global Change Biology 4, 347–357.
CrossRef |

Landsberg J, James CD, Maconochie J, Nicholls AO, Stol J, Tynan R (2002) Scale-related effects of grazing on native plant communities in an arid rangeland region of South Australia. Journal of Applied Ecology 39, 427–444.
CrossRef |

Le Brocque AF, Goodhew KA, Zammit CA (2009) Overstorey tree density and understorey regrowth effects on plant composition, stand structure and floristic richness in grazed temperate woodlands in eastern Australia. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 129, 17–27.
CrossRef |

Lett MS, Knapp AK (2003) Consequences of shrub expansion in mesic grassland: resource alterations and graminoid responses. Journal of Vegetation Science 14, 487–496.
CrossRef |

Lett MS, Knapp AK (2005) Woody plant encroachment and removal in mesic grassland: production and composition responses of herbaceous vegetation. American Midland Naturalist 153, 217–231.
CrossRef |

Lunt ID (1998) Two hundred years of land use and vegetation change in a remnant coastal woodland in southern Australia. Australian Journal of Botany 46, 629–647.
CrossRef |

Lunt ID, Jones N, Spooner PG, Petrow M (2006) Effects of European colonization on indigenous ecosystems: post-settlement changes in tree stand structures in Eucalyptus-Callitris woodlands in central New South Wales, Australia. Journal of Biogeography 33, 1102–1115.
CrossRef |

Lunt ID, Winsemius LM, McDonald SP, Morgan JW, Dehaan RL (2010) How widespread is woody plant encroachment in temperate Australia? Changes in woody vegetation cover in lowland woodland and coastal ecosystems in Victoria from 1989 to 2005. Journal of Biogeography 37, 722–732.
CrossRef |

Maher M (1995) A thin line: should densities of coolibah and black box be controlled in the Western Division of New South Wales? Report to the Western Lands Commission. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Dubbo.

McIntyre S, Lavorel S (1994) How environmental and disturbance factors influence species composition in temperate Australian grasslands. Journal of Vegetation Science 5, 373–384.
CrossRef |

McIntyre S, Heard KM, Martin TG (2003) The relative importance of cattle grazing in subtropical grasslands: does it reduce or enhance plant biodiversity? Journal of Applied Ecology 40, 445–457.
CrossRef |

McIvor JG, Gardener CJ (1995) Pasture management in semi-arid tropical woodlands: effects on herbage yields and botanical composition. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 35, 705–715.
CrossRef |

McKenzie N, Jacquier D, Isbell R, Brown K (2004) ‘Australian soils and landscapes: an illustrated compendium.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne)

McPherson GR, Wright HA (1990) Effects of cattle grazing and Juniperus pinchotii canopy cover on herb cover and production in Western Texas. American Midland Naturalist 123, 144–151.
CrossRef |

Mishra A, Sharma SD, Khan GH (2003) Improvement in physical and chemical properties of sodic soil by 3, 6 and 9 years old plantation of Eucalyptus tereticornis: biorejuvenation of sodic soil. Forest Ecology and Management 184, 115–124.
CrossRef |

Mitchell PB (1991) Historical perspectives on some vegetation and soil changes in semi-arid New South Wales. Vegetatio 91, 169–182.
CrossRef |

Morgan JA, Milchunas DG, LeCain DR, West M, Mosier AR (2007) Carbon dioxide enrichment alters plant community structure and accelerates shrub growth in the shortgrass steppe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104, 14724–14729.
CrossRef | CAS |

Muñoz-Robles C, Reid N, Tighe M, Briggs SV, Wilson B (2011) Soil hydrological and erosional responses in patches and inter-patches in vegetation states in semi-arid Australia. Geoderma 160, 524–534.
CrossRef |

NSW Scientific Committee (2004) ‘Final determination. Coolibah–black box woodland of the Northern Riverine Plains in the Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions as an endangered ecological community.’ (NSW Scientific Committee: Sydney)

NSW Scientific Committee (2008) ‘Preliminary determination to reject a proposal to delist Coolibah–black box woodland of the Northern Riverine Plains in the Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions as an endangered ecological community.’ (NSW Scientific Committee: Sydney)

Noble J (1997) ‘The delicate and noxious scrub.’ (CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology: Lyneham, ACT)

Norris EH, Mitchell PB, Hart DM (1991) Vegetation changes in the Pilliga forests: a preliminary evaluation of the evidence. Vegetatio 91, 209–218.
CrossRef |

Parsons WT, Cuthbertson EG (2001) ‘Noxious weeds of Australia.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne)

Pettit NE (2000) Riparian vegetation of a permanent waterhole on Cooper Creek, southwest Queensland. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 110, 15–25.

Pettit NE, Froend RH, Ladd PG (1995) Grazing in remnant woodland vegetation: changes in species composition and life form groups. Journal of Vegetation Science 6, 121–130.
CrossRef |

Price JN, Morgan JW (2008) Woody plant encroachment reduces species richness of herb-rich woodlands in southern Australia. Austral Ecology 33, 278–289.
CrossRef |

Price JN, Morgan JW (2009) Multi-decadal increases in shrub abundance in non-riverine red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) woodlands occur during a period of complex land-use history. Australian Journal of Botany 57, 163–170.
CrossRef |

Prober SM, Lunt ID, Thiele KR (2002) Determining reference conditions for management and restoration of temperate grassy woodlands: relationships among trees, topsoils and understorey flora in little-grazed remnants. Australian Journal of Botany 50, 687–697.
CrossRef |

Roques KG, O’Connor TG, Watkinson AR (2001) Dynamics of shrub encroachment in an African savanna: relative influence of fire, herbivory, rainfall and density dependence. Journal of Applied Ecology 38, 268–280.
CrossRef |

Russell-Smith J, Stanton PJ, Whitehead PJ, Edwards A (2004) Rain forest invasion of eucalypt-dominated woodland savanna, Iron Range, north-eastern Australia: I. Successional processes. Journal of Biogeography 31, 1293–1303.
CrossRef |

Scanlan JC (2002) Some aspects of tree–grass dynamics in Queensland’s grazing lands. The Rangeland Journal 24, 56–82.
CrossRef |

Scheiner SM, Chiarucci A, Fox GA, Helmus MR, McGlinn DJ, Willig MR (2011) The underpinnings of the relationship of species richness with space and time. Ecological Monographs 81, 195–213.
CrossRef |

Scholes RJ, Archer SR (1997) Tree–grass interactions in savannas. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 28, 517–544.
CrossRef |

Schultz NL, Morgan JW, Lunt ID (2011) Effects of grazing exclusion on plant species richness and phytomass accumulation vary across a regional productivity gradient. Journal of Vegetation Science 22, 130–142.
CrossRef |

Sharp BR, Whittaker RJ (2003) The irreversible cattle-driven transformation of a seasonally flooded Australian savanna. Journal of Biogeography 30, 783–802.
CrossRef |

Simmons MT, Archer SR, Teague WR, Ansley RJ (2008) Tree (Prosopis glandulosa) effects on grass growth: an experimental assessment of above- and belowground interactions in a temperate savanna. Journal of Arid Environments 72, 314–325.
CrossRef |

Thompson WA, Eldridge DJ (2005) Plant cover and composition in relation to density of Callitris glaucophylla (white cypress pine) along a rainfall gradient in eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Botany 53, 545–554.
CrossRef |

Tighe M, Reid N, Wilson BR, Briggs SV (2009) Invasive native scrub and soil condition in semi-arid south-eastern Australia. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 132, 212–222.
CrossRef |

Tothill JC, Hargreaves JNG, Jones RM (1978) BOTANAL-a comprehensive sampling and computing procedure for estimating pasture yield and composition. 1. Field sampling. Technical memorandum no. 8, (CSIRO Tropical Agronomy: Townsville, Australia).

Van Auken OW (2000) Shrub invasions of North American semiarid grasslands. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 31, 197–215.
CrossRef |

Van Els P, Will RE, Palmer MW, Hickman KR (2010) Changes in forest understory associated with Juniperus encroachment in Oklahoma, USA. Applied Vegetation Science 13, 356–368.

Vetaas OR (1992) Micro-site effects of trees and shrubs in dry savannas. Journal of Vegetation Science 3, 337–344.
CrossRef |

Zarovali MP, Yiakoulaki MD, Papanastasis VP (2007) Effects of shrub encroachment on herbage production and nutritive value in semi-arid Mediterranean grasslands. Grass and Forage Science 62, 355–363.
CrossRef | CAS |


   
Subscriber Login
Username:
Password:  

 
    
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help

CSIRO

© CSIRO 1996-2014