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Titre du document / Document title

Influence of cattle grazing practices on forest understorey structure in north-eastern New South Wales

Auteur(s) / Author(s)

TASKER Elizabeth M. (1) ; BRADSTOCK Ross A. (2) ;

Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)

(1) Institute of Wildlife Research, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, AUSTRALIE
(2) Biodiversity Conservation Science Section, Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), Hurstville NSW 2220, AUSTRALIE

Résumé / Abstract

In eastern Australia the practice of grazing cattle in eucalypt forests and woodlands, as a supplementary activity to farmland grazing, is widespread. It is typically accompanied by burning at frequent intervals by graziers to promote more nutritious and digestible growth of the ground cover for their livestock. Collectively, these forest grazing practices affect understorey structure, which in turn affects other biotic and abiotic components of these ecosystems. In order to test how significant the effects of forest grazing practices are relative to the effects of other management practices and environmental variables and the degree to which grazing practices determine understorey vegetation structure, we surveyed 58 sites on the northern tablelands of New South Wales, Australia. All sites were located in eucalypt forest and were stratified by grazing status (presence or absence): time since logging, time since wildfire, geology, aspect, slope and topographic position. At each site an index of vegetation complexity and the most abundant plant species were recorded. The data were analysed by a backwards stepwise multiple regression. Grazing practices had the greatest influence on understorey vegetation complexity of any of the measured attributes. The grazed sites were characterized by a significantly lower vegetation complexity score, different dominant understorey species, reduced or absent shrub layers, and an open, simplified and more grassy understorey structure compared with ungrazed sites. Time since logging and time since wildfire also significantly affected understorey structure. Our results indicate that cattle grazing practices (i.e. grazing and the associated frequent fire regimes) can have major effects on forest structure and composition at a regional level.

Revue / Journal Title

Austral ecology    ISSN  1442-9985 

Source / Source

2006, vol. 31, no4, pp. 490-502 [13 page(s) (article)] (2 p.1/4)

Langue / Language

Anglais

Editeur / Publisher

Blackwell, Carlton, AUSTRALIE  (2000) (Revue)

Mots-clés anglais / English Keywords

Oceania

;

Australia

;

Vegetation structure

;

Livestock

;

Fire

;

Burning

;

Burned ground

;

New South Wales

;

Understory

;

Forests

;

Browsing

;

Mots-clés français / French Keywords

Océanie

;

Australie

;

Structure végétation

;

Bétail

;

Incendie

;

Brûlage

;

Brûlis

;

Nouvelle Galles du Sud

;

Sous étage

;

Forêt

;

Broutage animal

;

Mots-clés espagnols / Spanish Keywords

Oceania

;

Australia

;

Estructura vegetación

;

Ganado

;

Incendio

;

Quema

;

Quema de terreno

;

Nueva Gales del Sur

;

Subpiso

;

Bosque

;

Pacedura

;

Mots-clés d'auteur / Author Keywords

burning

;

fire

;

grazing

;

livestock

;

vegetation structure

;

Localisation / Location

INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 19596, 35400013881322.0080

Nº notice refdoc (ud4) : 17949448



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