Degradation and Potential for Recovery in Some Central Australian Ranglands: II. Vegetation

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Friedel, M.H.
Tongway, D.J.
Australian Rangeland Society
Publication Year: 
In a complementary presentation (Tongway & Friedel, this volume), we examined the impact of cattle grazing on the landscape and soils of calcareous shrubby grasslands. In this presentation we look at the way soil changes were expressed in the vegetation. On severely degraded soils, herbage and shrubs were largely restricted to sandy bands, and most herbage was unpalatable. Shrubs were small. Herbage palatability was better on less degraded soils, and the number and size of shrubs were greater. On land rested for 10 years, there was excellent recovery on the sandy bands but not on the intervening stripped surfaces, and there were few large shrubs. Palatable perennial grass appeared for the first time. Thus there is an increase in discrimination amongst landscape units as stability improves, and both vegetation quantity and forage quality are better. Degraded vegetation can recover provided the landscape units remain largely intact; once sandy bands and hummocks lose their structure, a critical threshold is crossed and potential for recovery is low.
Conference Name: 
7th Australian Rangeland Society Biennial Conference
Conference Date: 
Saturday, October 3, 1992
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Document Type: 
Conference Paper
Australian Rangeland Society

Includes full-text resources emanating from a complete set of Australian Rangelands Society Proceedings, journal articles from The Rangelands Journal (published by CSIRO Publishing for the Australian Rangelands Society), videos and other resources abou the extensive rangelands of Australia.