Biodiversity and management of riparian vegetation in Western Australia
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This paper considers the nature of riparian vegetation in south west Western Australia and issues relevant to its management. Riparian forests and vegetation in Western Australia are generally less species rich than adjacent upland communities. This correlates with the few studies in other parts of Australia and South Africa, but is in contrast with the situation in Europe. Structurally, the vegetation is usually more complex than that of upland areas. Riparian vegetation has been severely degraded in many parts of Western Australia and plant species biodiversity is threatened by a number of environmental problems. Foremost among these are clearing, grazing, salinization, weed invasion, urbanisation and frequent burning. The relative importance of these problems is related to the geographical area in question. Management practices to maintain biodiversity need to be tailored to the conditions of each particular area. In relatively undegraded areas an integrated management approach, especially in relation to weeds, is likely to provide the best outcome. In more degraded areas, biodiversity is greatly decreased from that of natural systems. The priority in these areas should be to enhance the value of the system through revegetation and moderation of degrading influences. A primary need in this area is a data-bank of recruitment requirements of suitable riparian plant species to enable their re-establishment on riverbanks.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Environmental Science|
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