Study

Plant species richness responses to grazing protection and degradation history in a low productivity landscape

  • Published source details Fensham R., Silcock J. & Dwyer J. (2011) Plant species richness responses to grazing protection and degradation history in a low productivity landscape. Journal of Vegetation Science, 22, 997-1008

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use wire fencing to exclude large native herbivores

Action Link
Forest Conservation

Use wire fences within grazing areas to exclude livestock from specific forest sections

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Use wire fencing to exclude large native herbivores

    A replicated, controlled study in 1981-2010 in Mulga Acacia aneura dry forest in Queensland, Australia (Fensham, Silcock & Dwyer 2011) found no effect of excluding herbivores on the number of plant species. There was no difference between treatments for species richness of all plants (exclusion: 15; unfenced: 16 species/plot), annual grasses (exclusion: 2; unfenced: 3), perennial grasses (exclusion: 3; unfenced: 3), annual herbaceous species (exclusion: 5; unfenced: 5) and perennial herbaceous species (exclusion: 4; unfenced: 3).. In 1981-1983, two treatments (50 × 50 m plots) were replicated at three sites: control (unfenced) and fences to exclude all mammalian herbivores >200 g. Plant species richness was determined in 2008 in twenty 2 × 7 m subplots in each treatment.

     

  2. Use wire fences within grazing areas to exclude livestock from specific forest sections

    A replicated, controlled study in 1981-2010 in Mulga Acacia aneura dry forest in Queensland, Australia (Fensham, Silcock & Dwyer 2011) found that exclusion of sheep and cattle increased annual grass species richness. Annual grass species richness was higher in fenced (3.5 species/plot) than in grazed plots (2.6). Species richness was similar between treatments for: all plants (fenced: 18.6; grazed: 15.9), perennial grasses (fenced: 3.3; grazed: .3.3), annual herbaceous plants (fenced: 6.2; grazed: 5.4) and perennial herbaceous plants (fenced: 4.5; grazed: 3.2). In 1981-1983 two treatment plots were established (50 × 50 m): grazed and wire fenced to exclude sheep and cattle, but not kangaroos or rabbits were replicated at three sites regularly grazed by cattle and sheep at 0.1-0.9 dry sheep equivalents/ha. Plant species richness was determined in 2008 in twenty 2 × 7 m plots in each treatment.

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