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Establishment of Eucalyptus gomphocephala (Tuart) woodland species in an abandoned limestone quarry: Effects after 12 years

Ruthrof, K.X., Bell, R. and Calver, M.C. (2009) Establishment of Eucalyptus gomphocephala (Tuart) woodland species in an abandoned limestone quarry: Effects after 12 years. Pacific Conservation Biology, 15 (4). pp. 293-297.

Abstract

Surface mining and quarrying profoundly affect landscapes and vegetation, so restoration of abandoned quarries attempts to create species-rich ecosystems for erosion control and fauna habitat. This study examined the success after 12 years of imported topsoil, sewage sludge, micronutrients, and fertiliser tablets applied at planting (all with and without broadcast fertiliser) on the survival, growth and health of six-month old seedlings of Eucalyptus gomphocephala, Acacia saligna, Banksia prionotes, B. attenuata, E. decipiens, Templetonia retusa and Dodonaea aptera in an abandoned limestone quarry in a mediterranean type climate in south-west Western Australia. Natural recruitment of seedlings of these species was also noted. After 12 years, overall survival was 17.4%, ranging from 42% in E. gomphocephala to 1% in T. retusa. Treatment combinations did not influence survival of any species, nor did growth (measured as height and DBHOB) vary in response to treatment. Treatment did not influence the health of any species significantly, with the exceptions of E. decipiens (healthiest in the All treatment) and B. attenuata (significantly lower levels of health when exposed to broadcast fertiliser). A. saligna, D. aptera and other local species from surrounding woodlands had naturally recruited seedlings. To date, although there is no evidence that any of the treatments tested is a panacea for success in re-establishing the study species in the medium-term, the study shows that vegetation native to the area can be re-established in abandoned limestone quarries at this site.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre of Excellence for Climate Change and Forest and Woodland Health
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Surey Beatty & Sons
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/1546
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