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Title: Using strategically applied grazing to manage invasive alien plants in novel grasslands
Contributor(s): Firn, Jennifer (author); Price, Jodi N  (author); Whalley, Ralph D  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2013
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1186/2192-1709-2-26Open Access Link
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Abstract: Introduction: Novel ecosystems that contain new combinations of invasive alien plants (IAPs) present a challenge for managers. Yet, control strategies that focus on the removal of the invasive species and/or restoring historical disturbance regimes often do not provide the best outcome for long-term control of IAPs and the promotion of more desirable plant species. Methods: This study seeks to identify the primary drivers of grassland invasion to then inform management practices toward the restoration of native ecosystems. By revisiting both published and unpublished data from experiments and case studies within mainly an Australian context for native grassland management, we show how alternative states models can help to design control strategies to manage undesirable IAPs by manipulating grazing pressure. Results: Ungulate grazing is generally considered antithetical to invasive species management because in many countries where livestock production is a relatively new disturbance to grasslands (such as in Australia and New Zealand as well as Canada and the USA), selective grazing pressure may have facilitated opportunities for IAPs to establish. We find that grazing stock can be used to manipulate species composition in favour of the desirable components in pastures, but whether grazing is rested or strategically applied depends on the management goal, sizes of populations of the IAP and more desirable species, and climatic and edaphic conditions. Conclusions: Based on our findings, we integrated these relationships to develop a testable framework for managing IAPs with strategic grazing that considers both the current state of the plant community and the desired future state - i.e. the application of the principles behind reclamation, rehabilitation, restoration or all three—over time.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Ecological Processes, v.2, p. 1-11
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: Germany
ISSN: 2192-1709
Field of Research (FOR): 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 829899 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production not elsewhere classified
960910 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Land and Water Management
960811 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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