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Land management affects grass biomass in the Eucalyptus tetrodonta savannas of monsoonal Australia

Bowman, David, Franklin, Donald C., Price, O. and Brook, Barry W. (2007). Land management affects grass biomass in the Eucalyptus tetrodonta savannas of monsoonal Australia. Austral Ecology: a journal of ecology in the Southern Hemisphere,32(4):446-452.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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IRMA ID A00004xPUB96
Title Land management affects grass biomass in the Eucalyptus tetrodonta savannas of monsoonal Australia
Author Bowman, David
Franklin, Donald C.
Price, O.
Brook, Barry W.
Journal Name Austral Ecology: a journal of ecology in the Southern Hemisphere
Publication Date 2007
Volume Number 32
Issue Number 4
ISSN 1442-9985   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-34248222683
Start Page 446
End Page 452
Total Pages 7
Place of Publication Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Field of Research 0502 - Environmental Science and Management
0602 - Ecology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract We surveyed herbaceous biomass across the range of Eucalyptus tetrodonta savannas in north-western Australia. Sample sites (n = 211) were stratified within four broad geographical regions characterized by different mixes of land management regimes. Grasses dominated (87% mean) the herbaceous biomass. After controlling for climatic and edaphic gradients, herbaceous biomass was highest in the Greater Darwin region (2.2 t ha−1) which is managed predominantly by Europeans, and least under semi-traditional Aboriginal management in Arnhem Land region (1.1 t ha−1). In the drier Gulf of Carpentaria and Kimberley regions, where a mix of Aboriginal, conservation and pastoral land uses occurs, fuel loads were higher than in Arnhem Land region but still considerably lower than around Darwin. Sarga was recorded in all regions except the Gulf of Carpentaria and had the highest biomass in Darwin (0.88 t ha−1) and lowest biomass in the Kimberley (0.54 t ha−1). The proportion of herbaceous biomass made up of perennial grasses was least in Darwin (17%) and greatest in the Gulf (77%) regions. We suggest that climate, soils and land management account for differences between the drier pastoral regions of the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Kimberley and the wet Greater Darwin region relative to the Arnhem Land region. The high frequency, and larger spatial scale, of fires in the Greater Darwin region relative to the Arnhem Land region underpins the contrasting trends in total herbaceous biomass and abundance of flammable annual grasses.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-9993.2007.01713.x   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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