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Title: Impacts and management of invasive burrowing herbivores in grasslands
Contributor(s): Fleming, Peter  (author); Limin, Hua (author); Whisson, Desley (author)
Publication Date: 2013
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Abstract: Maintenance of the productivity of the world's grasslands is critical for livestock production, bio-diversity conservation and ecosystem services. Using case studies from Australasia, North America and China, we identify general principles of managing invasive native and introduced herbivores. Management aims to achieve optimised livestock production while conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services, which are often intangible. We identify similarities and differences in the ecologies and impacts of European wild rabbits, Californian ground squirrel and plateau zokors, discuss management tools and strategies, and the eco-logical, social and cultural factors affecting management. The ecosystem engineering characteristics of these species that make them important for ecosystem function in grasslands are perversely the selfsame ones that bring them into conflict with livestock producers. All three species create habitat patches through their bur-rowing and foraging behaviours, but changes in vegetation floristics and structure, increased soil exposure and decreased litter negatively affect grassland and livestock production when the animals are superabundant. Management is therefore complex and we recommend an adaptive approach that is founded on the scientific knowledge of the local agri-ecosystem, economic principles and social inclusion to increase knowledge and iteratively improve management.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: 22nd International Grassland Congress, Sydney, Australia, 15th - 19th September, 2013
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the 22nd International Grassland Congress: Revitalising Grasslands to Sustain our Communities, p. 1600-1608
Publisher: New South Wales Department of Primary Industry
Place of Publication: Orange, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 060701 Phycology (incl. Marine Grasses)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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