Journal article

Densely regenerating coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah) woodlands are more species-rich than surrounding derived grasslands in floodplains of eastern Australia

Megan K Good, Jodi N Price, Peter Clarke, Nick Reid

AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY | CSIRO PUBLISHING | Published : 2011

Abstract

Woody plant encroachment the conversion of grasslands to tree- or shrub-dominated ecosystems occurs in rangelands and savannas worldwide. In eastern Australia, coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah subsp. coolabah Blakely Jacobs) regenerated densely following floods in the mid 1970s, converting derived grasslands to dense woodlands. We compared soil and groundstorey vegetation attributes of dense coolibah regeneration to adjacent derived grasslands at three grazed sites in the northern riverine plains of New South Wales. Groundstorey species richness and diversity were significantly higher and groundstorey biomass was significantly lower in dense regeneration plots than in derived grassland plots. S..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the Cotton Catchment Communities CRC, and the Namoi and Central West Catchment Management Authorities. We thank John Hunter, and Brian Wilson for advice on early drafts, Nick Schultz, Carlos Munoz-Robles, Rhiannon Smith, and Robyn Walters for their expert advice and assistance in the field, and several landholders, for their hospitality and local knowledge. We also thank two anonymous reviewers whose suggestions greatly improved the manuscript.