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Exotic Grass Invasions: Applying a Conceptual Framework to the Dynamics of Degradation and Restoration in Australia's Tropical Savannas

Brooks, Kristine J., Setterfield, Samantha A. and Douglas, Michael M. (2010). Exotic Grass Invasions: Applying a Conceptual Framework to the Dynamics of Degradation and Restoration in Australia's Tropical Savannas. Restoration Ecology,18(2):188-197.

Document type: Journal Article

IRMA ID 81108725xPUB18
Title Exotic Grass Invasions: Applying a Conceptual Framework to the Dynamics of Degradation and Restoration in Australia's Tropical Savannas
Author Brooks, Kristine J.
Setterfield, Samantha A.
Douglas, Michael M.
Journal Name Restoration Ecology
Publication Date 2010
Volume Number 18
Issue Number 2
ISSN 1061-2971   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-77954380669
Start Page 188
End Page 197
Total Pages 10
Place of Publication San Francisco
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Field of Research 0502 - Environmental Science and Management
0607 - Plant Biology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Plant invasions can cause severe degradation of natural areas. The ability of an ecosystem to recover autogenically from degradation following weed control is in part determined by the type and magnitude of changes to both biotic and abiotic processes caused by the invasion and how these interact with structural and functional components of the ecosystem. Recently, a number of conceptual frameworks have been proposed to describe the dynamics of degradation and regeneration in degraded ecosystems. We assessed the utility of one of these frameworks in describing the degradation and restoration potential of Australia's tropical savannas following exotic grass invasion. First, we identified easily measured structural characteristics of putative states. We found that a continuous cover of the exotic grasses Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus Kunth.) and Perennial mission grass (Pennisetum polystachion (L.) Schult.) under an intact tree canopy was a common state with an understorey characterized by reduced species richness and abundance and a change in the relative contribution of functional groups. Further degradation led to a state where the canopy was severely reduced and the impacts on the understorey were more severe. In both states, the seed bank was substantially less degraded than the understorey vegetation. Guided by the framework, we combined our study with other studies to construct a conceptual model for degradation in exotic grass-invaded savannas.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2008.00470.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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Created: Fri, 01 May 2009, 11:13:39 CST by Sarena Wegener