Western Australian State Centre of Excellence on climate change and woodland and forest health
Hardy, G. (2009) Western Australian State Centre of Excellence on climate change and woodland and forest health. In: IUFRO International Forest Biosecurity Conference, 16 - 20 March, Rotorua, New Zealand.
In recent years in Western Australia there have been substantial declines and deaths of a number of forest and woodland tree species. These include Eucalyptus marginata (jarrah), E. gomphocephela (tuart), E. wandoo (wandoo), E. rudis (river gum), Agonis flexuosa (WA peppermint) and Corymbia calophylla (marri). There has been substantial concern within the wider community about the need to understand and mitigate these disease syndromes. As a result, in 2008 the Western Australian Government together with a wide range of agencies, industry bodies and community groups provided funding and in-kind support to a 'Western Australian Centre of Excellence on Climate Change and Woodland and Forest Health'. The Centre has put in place a multi-disciplinary approach to work towards understanding the causes of these declines, their impact on ecosystem function and health and developing restoration methods to reverse these declines and to restore degraded areas.
There are many theories put forward as to the reasons for these declines including: (i) global climate change; (ii) habitat loss and fragmentation; (iii) changes in land management, e.g., the absence of planned fire, damage from wildfires, and past timber harvesting and grazing; (iv) weeds, pests and diseases; (v) salinity; (vi) changes in hydrology; (vii) poorly developed links between research and management; and (viii) sub-optimal management policies and strategies at Local and State Government levels.
Four programs have been put into place: Climate Change: Woodland and Forest Declines; Decline Ecology; Restoring Biodiversity Values; and Policies and Action for Woodland and Forest Restoration. The Centre is made up of three core research organisations, 27 collaborating industry partners and seven collaborating international and national institutions. An overview of the different research and adaptive management approaches being put into place to understand and mitigate these declines will be discussed.
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|Murdoch Affiliation:||Centre of Excellence for Climate Change and Forest and Woodland Health|
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