Native grasslands in the PlainsTender incentive scheme: conservation value, management and monitoring

Zimmer,Heidi C.
Turner,Vivienne B.
CSIRO Publishing
Publication Year: 
The native grassland of the Victorian Volcanic Plain, in south-western Victoria, Australia, is a critically endangered community. Much of the remaining grassland exists on private land, where it is grazed by livestock. The impacts of two grazing management strategies, implemented under the PlainsTender incentive scheme, were monitored at 18 on-farm native grassland sites for 4 years. The management strategies were (1) excluding grazing during spring, or (2) flexible grazing and resting. Maintenance of >70% vegetation cover was required under both strategies. Generalised least-squares (repeated-measures) modelling revealed a significant correlation between plant functional group cover and management. However, this correlation was present at the outset of the study and was maintained for the duration of monitoring. Sites rested from livestock grazing in spring had higher native and exotic grass cover, while exotic forb cover was higher at sites where grazing was managed flexibly. Native and exotic grass cover varied significantly from year-to-year under both management strategies; we attribute this to variation in rainfall, particularly drought in the second year. A key outcome of this study was the recognition that high conservation value native grasslands, i.e. large (?100ha) and intact (?36 native species), are being managed successfully on private land, using a range of conservative livestock grazing strategies.
Name of Journal: 
The Rangeland Journal
Resource Type: 
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Australian Rangeland Society

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