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Title: The Vegetated Landscape
Contributor(s): Clarke, Peter J (author)
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: Plants, both natural and agricultural, are fundamental to all New England life. Directly or indirectly, native animals depend on them for food and habitat. Agriculture itself benefits directly from native vegetation because it provides renewable herbage for sheep and cattle production, and indirectly because it ensures healthy soils and water, and limits insect pests. This chapter summarises what we know about the striking diversity of native vegetation to be found on the New England Tableland. More than this, it seeks to show that the vegetation is dynamic. While the people of New England depend on its plant life, the future of the plant life depends on the people. The Tableland is more or less a single bioregion, as defined by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. As such it extends a little to the north of the Queensland border and to the south of Walcha, eastward to the escarpment, and with Inverell just beyond its limits to the west. Very roughly, a bioregion is an ecosystem in itself, having distinctive natural features and environmental processes, and contributing to the geophysical pattern of Australia as a whole. Native vegetation is ever-present in the rural landscape of the Tableland bioregion, from roadsides to paddocks and from stock reserves to national parks. Even within towns and villages, native vegetation is common in cemeteries and parks. While much of the bioregion has highly modified vegetation, resulting from more than 150 years of agriculture, there are remnants and reserves that still reflect the pre-European nature of its plant life. This can be gleaned from the accounts of John Oxley, who described the vegetation around Walcha in 1818, and of Allan Cunningham, who made the first known collections of New England plants, at Bald Rock Creek, in 1826-27.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: High Lean Country: Land, People and Memory in New England, p. 57-68
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Place of Publication: Crows Nest, Australia
ISBN: 9781741750867
Field of Research (FOR): 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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