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Recovery of Pindan vegetation on seismic lines

Dawson, S.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-4432-3779, Adams, P.J., Waddington, K.I., Moseby, K.E. and Fleming, P.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-0626-3851 (2019) Recovery of Pindan vegetation on seismic lines. The Rangeland Journal, 41 (5). pp. 393-403.

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Exploration for oil and gas resources requiring the clearing of seismic lines has been occurring in central and northern Australia for many years. For example, seismic surveys have been conducted in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia since the 1960s. Despite this being a widespread practice, the recovery of vegetation on seismic lines has not been well studied. To better understand vegetation recovery in the West Kimberley, we conducted vegetation surveys on recovering seismic lines cleared using a raised-blade technique, from ∼two months to 4.9 years post-clearing, and compared them to paired control plots. Generally, the vegetation structure and community composition on seismic lines recovered quickly, with no discernible difference between control and seismic plots that were cleared more than 6 months prior. Some individual vegetation characteristics (e.g. understorey density and overstorey cover) recovered slowly, whereas other characteristics such as the number of individual grasses, recovered quickly. Vegetation recovery was confounded by the time since fire, which accounted for differences in vegetation structure at 1–2 years and 3–4 years since clearing. The fast recovery rate observed suggests that raised-blade clearing may not present a lasting impact on Pindan vegetation in the West Kimberley.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © 2019 CSIRO
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