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VAST-2 - Tracking effects of land management on veg condition over time at sites.

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Presentation given to a workshop on “Developing a strategic revegetation and restoration recovery plan for the Brigalow. University of Queensland, Brisbane 14-15 May 2012.

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VAST-2 - Tracking effects of land management on veg condition over time at sites.

  1. 1. Towards a strategic revegetation & restoration recovery plan for the Brigalow VAST - Tracking effects of land management on veg condition over time at sites Richard Thackway UQ UQ, Brisbane 14-15 May 2012 Workshop to promote Brigalow recovery plan
  2. 2. VAST (Vegetation States Assets and Transitions ) VIVIVIIIIII0 Native vegetation cover Non-native vegetation cover Increasing vegetation modification Transitions = trend Vegetation thresholds Reference for each veg type (NVIS) Condition states ResidualNaturally bare Modified Transformed Replaced - Adventive Replaced - managed Replaced - removed Thackway & Lesslie (2008) Environmental Management, 42, 572-90 Diagnostic attributes of states/ classes : • Vegetation structure • Species composition • Regenerative capacity NVIS
  3. 3. Thackway & Lesslie (2008) Environmental Management, 42, 572-90 VAST provides a site score of the condition of a native vegetation community 2009
  4. 4. • Land managers modify veg condition at the site level over time using management practices by operating on – Vegetation structure – Species composition – Regenerative capacity (ecological function) to gain multiple benefits (ecosystem services) - public & private • Arguably for most of the Brigalow bioregion much of this information is readily available
  5. 5. Regulation of hydrological regime Generation of food and fibre Regulation of climate / microclimate Generation of raw materials Recycling of organic matter Creating and regulating habitats Controlling reproduction and dispersal
  6. 6. Modification Fragmentation Intact >90% Variegated 60-90% retained Fragmented 10-60% retained Relictual <10% retained Native Unmodified Modified and retained Highly modified Destroyed VAST I Residual VAST 0 Naturally Bare VAST II Modified VAST III Transformed VAST IV Replaced – Adventive, VAST V Replaced – Managed VAST VI Removed Time Site level Landscape level
  7. 7. Vegetation variable Settlement Source: Adamson and Fox (1982). Years 10000 Reference Occupation Relaxation Anthropogenic change Net impact Modification score Reference Years 0 100 Source: Hamilton, Brown & Nolan (2008).
  8. 8. 1 3 10 22 VAST Diagnostic attributes Vegetation Structure Species Composition VASTTRANS Score / year Attribute groups Regenerative Capacity Overstorey (3) Understorey (3) (2) UnderstoreyOverstorey (2) Fire (2) Reprod potent (2) Soil Hydrology (2) Biology (2) Chemistry (2) Structure (2) Indicators
  9. 9. Approximate year Source: Year LU & LMP Source: LU & LMP Effects of use and management on vegetation condition and ecological function Source: Effects 1800 1840 2010 Pre-contact First contact Current year LU = Land Use, LMP = Land Management Practices
  10. 10. LU = Land Use, LMP = Land Management Practices VAST Diagnostic attributes Time
  11. 11. Score VAST Diagnostic attributes Attribute groups Departure from pre-European state assessed using 22 VASTTRANS indicators of vegetation condition VegetationTransformationscore (100%) Change in key abiotic and physicochemical processes affecting REGENERATIVE CAPACITY (Function) Fire regime 1. Burnt area - (e.g. smaller to larger mosaics) 2. Number of fire starts – (e.g. higher or lower fire frequency) Hydrological state 3. Reduction or modification of surface water (e.g. more run-off, floodplain drains) 4. Reduction or modification of ground water (e.g. rising water table, irrigation) Soil physical state 5. Reduction or modification to the depth of A horizon (e.g. erosion or deposition) 6. Reduction or modification of natural soil structure (e.g. compaction, cultivation) Soil chemical state 7. Run down of natural soil fertility 8. Excess soil nutrients including trace elements Soil biological state 9. Reduction or modification of organic recyclers (invertebrate and native mammals) 10. Reduction or modification of locally indigenous surface organic matter, soil crusts Reproductive potential 11. Reduction or modification of overstorey structuring species (e.g. viable of seed) 12. Reduction or modification of understorey structuring species (e.g. seed & vegetative) Change in VEGETATION STRUCTURE Overstorey structure 13. Reduction or modification of mean top height 14. Reduction or modification of mean foliage projective cover 15. Reduction or modification of mean structural diversity of age classes Understorey structure 16. Reduction or modification of mean top height 17. Reduction or modification of ground cover 18. Reduction or modification of mean structural diversity of age classes Change in dominant structuring species affecting SPECIES COMPOSITION Overstorey composition 19. Modification of the density of functional species groups e.g. invasive native species, firewood vs non-firewood, millable vs non-millable, fodder vs non-fodder 20. Reduction or modification of relative number of species (richness) Understorey composition 21. Modification of the density of functional species groups e.g. woody vs non-woody, invasive native species, palatable vs non-palatable 22. Reduction or modification of relative number of species (richness)
  12. 12. Cropping Shepherds light grazing Permanent fences, continuous stocking, high sheep numbers Prickly pear Ringbarking and burning Brigalow ‘pulled’, burnt and blade ploughed
  13. 13. Light grazing Permanent fences, continuous stocking, high sheep numbers Prickly pear Prickly pear removed Brigalow ‘pulled’ and burnt Brigalow regrowth Patch of Brigalow retained as unfenced shelter belt
  14. 14. http://aceas.org.au/portal/
  15. 15. http://aceas.org.au/portal/
  16. 16. Transformationscore Years 1800 2012 Reference Modified Transformed Replaced/ managed Residual Replaced /adventive VAST Classes 1850 19501900 2000 2050 2100
  17. 17. Score VAST Diagnostic attributes Attribute groups Departure from pre-European state assessed using 22 VEG-TRANS indicators of vegetation condition VegetationTransformationscore (100%) Change in key abiotic and physicochemical processes affecting REGENERATIVE CAPACITY (Function) Fire regime 1. Burnt area - (e.g. smaller to larger mosaics) 2. Number of fire starts – (e.g. higher or lower fire frequency) Hydrological state 3. Reduction or modification of surface water (e.g. more run-off, floodplain drains) 4. Reduction or modification of ground water (e.g. rising water table, irrigation) Soil physical state 5. Reduction or modification to the depth of A horizon (e.g. erosion or deposition) 6. Reduction or modification of natural soil structure (e.g. compaction, cultivation) Soil chemical state 7. Run down of natural soil fertility 8. Excess soil nutrients including trace elements Soil biological state 9. Reduction or modification of organic recyclers (invertebrate and native mammals) 10. Reduction or modification of locally indigenous surface organic matter, soil crusts Reproductive potential 11. Reduction or modification of overstorey structuring species (e.g. viable of seed) 12. Reduction or modification of understorey structuring species (e.g. seed & vegetative) Change in VEGETATION STRUCTURE Overstorey structure 13. Reduction or modification of mean top height 14. Reduction or modification of mean foliage projective cover 15. Reduction or modification of mean structural diversity of age classes Understorey structure 16. Reduction or modification of mean top height 17. Reduction or modification of ground cover 18. Reduction or modification of mean structural diversity of age classes Change in dominant structuring species affecting SPECIES COMPOSITION Overstorey composition 19. Modification of the density of functional species groups e.g. invasive native species, firewood vs non-firewood, millable vs non-millable, fodder vs non-fodder 20. Reduction or modification of relative number of species (richness) Understorey composition 21. Modification of the density of functional species groups e.g. woody vs non-woody, invasive native species, palatable vs non-palatable 22. Reduction or modification of relative number of species (richness)
  18. 18. 1 3 10 22 Diagnostic attributes VASTTRANS Score At a point in time Attribute groups Vegetation Structure Overstorey (3) Understorey (3) Species Composition (2) UnderstoreyOverstorey (2) Regenerative Capacity Fire (2) Reprod potent (2) Soil Hydrology (2) Biology (2) Chemistry (2) Structure (2) Indicators Monitoring progress following an intervention

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