Study

A review of management practices that enhance the value of conifer and eucalypt plantations for native fauna in Australia

  • Published source details Lindenmayer D.B. & Hobbs R.J. (2004) Fauna conservation in Australian plantation forests - a review. Biological Conservation, 119, 151-168

Summary

Tree plantations in Australia are set to triple in area within 10 years, and where these new plantations are located and how they are managed will influence the native flora and fauna that currently exist in such landscapes.

The value for native fauna of conifer and eucalypt plantations in Australia and management practices that enhances their wildlife value was reviewed (Lindenmayer & Hobbs 2004).

This review found that most research undertaken in Australian plantations, both in conifers and eucalypts, highlights the importance of landscape heterogeneity and vegetation stand structural complexity for conservation of native fauna. At the landscape level, patches of retained native vegetation, strips of riparian vegetation, dams and clearings can significantly increase the number of native species that occur within plantations. Some species of native wildlife that occur in managed areas such as these, may also use adjacent planted areas, a result common to conifer and eucalypt plantations.

A combination of stands of varying ages throughout plantation landscapes was also found to contribute to the maintenance of some populations of native taxa. At the stand level, structural complexity is also important with many species responding positively to the presence of native understorey plants, the presence of windrowed logs (i.e. logs cut and left lying on the ground) and logging slash (i.e. a tract of cleared forest strewn with logging debris) which provide foraging opportunities and refugia.


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