Alien Vegetation Management

Background

Protected area under study is understocked so undergrazed and over rested, with fire climax community and limited biodiversity. First appearance good, but poor basal cover results in pedestals being formed, with soil deflation occuring between pedestals. Poor basal cover allows for invasion by opportunistci alien seeds and encroachment by alien woody species.

Huge fuel loads / biomass from undergrazing and woody aliens make area susceptible to very intense burns damaging upper soil mantle and destroying organic matter, leaving poor soil structure and limited grass seed bank, with reduced vigour and grassland productivity.

REDUCING ALIEN INFESTION & SPREAD through restoring wattle to healthy grassland by maintaining rangeland quality, and providing sufficient grassland cover to outcompete successful wattle seed germination. Initial clearing, with follow up foliar spraying combined with reseeding and hoof action, to encourage grassland to outcompete wattle encroachment.

Bare areas which are abandoned from any management post-clearing are susceptible to re-infestation by aliens unless good basal groundcover is established. This can be achieved through correct herd management to improve grass cover and biodiversity composition, with limited or no burning, to enhance root depth and soil moisture and composition. Grazing should be managed in an agreed system allowing for spring growth recovery, but no over rest and oxidation: this can create optimal cover and composition, and kick start the carbon cycle to maintain healthy grassland, reducing run-off and soil loss, and enhancing rainfall infiltration.