This large scale study looks at faunal response to vegetation restoration and farm plantings. Revegetation is becoming increasingly popular as a means to enhance habitat for wildlife, and improve farm productivity. Revegetation can occur as plantings in connective corridors, isolated patches or linear strips. They can occur as new plantings on cleared land (e.g. farms) or as enhancement plantings of existing remnants. While great emphasis has been placed on planting vegetation as a means of reversing the damaging land clearing activities of the past (and present) little is known of their role or the effect of incorporation into local ecosystems.
This project was established in 2000 and looks at how different faunal groups respond to farm plantings. The project site is very large – from Albury to Gundagai in south eastern NSW. Throughout this region there are 23 selected landscapes, each containing 2 farms – one that has plantings and one that doesn’t. Analyses are being conducted comparing the size, shape, structure and floristic composition and diversity and the use by fauna. In addition, long-term data collection is allowing changes in biodiversity over time to be linked quantitatively with changes in vegetation cover over the same time (i.e. 2000 to the present).
Other work in the South West Slopes Restoration Study includes: studies of the responses of reptiles to rocky outcrops; the habitat requirements of the Squirrel Glider; the effectiveness of underplanting in woodland remnants for bird biodiversity; and the extent of vegetation regeneration in old growth temperate woodlands.