Land Degradation and Restoration
Many vegetation restoration works have been undertaken in Australia but only a few of those projects have been assessed for effectiveness.
Revisiting earlier restoration attempts and analysing data from them is fundamental to the development of evidence-based prescriptions for
future restoration work. Therefore, this study’s objectives were to (I) compare plant species composition of different age direct-seeded
revegetated sites and (II) determine the effect, if any, of different ages of revegetated sites on the natural recruitment of native plants. The study
investigated four fenced restoration sites, dating from 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005. Results showed that the density of plants surviving varied
widely between plots of different ages. The highest density was found in the 2001 plot (2195.7 stems ha1), followed by 2000 (18778
stems ha1), 2004 (1976 stems ha1) and 2005 (1954 stems ha1). An ANOVA showed that the overall amount of seed broadcast does not
play a significant ( p¼0437) role in the establishment rate. Overall, Eucalyptus ovata was found to be dominant in the 2000 (7944ha1) and
2001 (971 ha1) sites. In contrast, Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Eucalyptus viminalis densities were highest in the 2004 (41 ha1) and 2005
(604ha1) sites, respectively. PERMANOVA showed highly significant differences in the present plant composition between plots
(p<00001), despite similar species mixes used in sowing. Recruitment was not found in any of the sites. The least weed cover and
the highest litter cover were found in the 2001 plot. A similar trend was found in the 2000 plot. In contrast, high weed cover and low litter cover
were found in the 2004 and 2005 plots. Since one of the major impediments to developing better restoration strategies is the inadequate
documentation of past practices, studies such as these may shed some light on how the direct-seeded technique operates in a farm situation.
Copyright # 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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