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Title: Pasture and grazing land: assessment of sustainability using invertebrate bioindicators
Contributor(s): King, Kathleen Lora  (author); Hutchinson, Keith (author)
Publication Date: 2007
DOI: 10.1071/EA05270
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Abstract: Impacts of practices frequently used to manage Australian pastures are reviewed with the aim of determining which groups are responsive to changes in grazing regime, fertiliser use, pasture types, tree clearing, pesticide use, liming and irrigation. Invertebrate groups sensitive to pasture management regimes may be potential candidates for use as bioindicators of ecological sustainability of these pasture types. This review concentrates on the more intensively utilised temperate pastures of southern Australia, as very little work has been done on the impact of the grazing animal and pasture management on invertebrate fauna on the extensive rangelands of the arid and semiarid zones. Background to the relative importance of invertebrates in the functioning of the pasture ecosystem is given. This has culminated in the construction of food webs for two temperate perennial pastures (an unfertilised, native and a fertilised, sown pasture) at Armidale, NSW, for which there is comprehensive data available. Invertebrate bioindicators of pasture sustainability emerged from the consideration of grazing lands and invertebrate responses. Currently, only four groups would seem to be likely candidates as bioindicators of sustainability of pastures. These are soil nematodes, earthworms, protozoa and Collembola. The main difficulty in monitoring these groups is that it requires specialist expertise, and services provided by commercial laboratories for routine biological soil tests are still in their infancy. There are gaps in our knowledge of how invertebrate fauna react to the pressing issues of soil acidity and salinity.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 47(4), p. 392-403
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
ISSN: 0816-1089
Field of Research (FOR): 050303 Soil Biology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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