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Towards ecological management of Australian powerline corridor vegetation

Towards ecological management of Australian powerline corridor vegetation
Towards ecological management of Australian powerline corridor vegetation
Powerline corridor management in Australia has traditionally focused on the complete removal of vegetation using short rotation times due to the perceived fire hazard associated with corridor vegetation. This study assessed vegetation recovery in a powerline corridor, following management, at three sites spanning corridor and forest habitat. Forest and corridor vegetation communities differed significantly between sites and over time. As vegetation recovered, the corridor community became a mix of plants common in the surrounding forest and open areas, changing within the 3-year study from a grass–fern to shrub–sedge community encroached by midstorey species. The current short rotations between management events unnecessarily maintain the corridor in a cycle of degradation, remove resources for native species and may allow introduced grasses and saplings to proliferate in the corridor. Maintaining a shrub layer would help avoid loss of species richness, encourage native species and limit colonisation opportunities of introduced species. Spot spraying emergent saplings and problem plants and mosaic slashing, would keep fire risk low and maintain biodiversity without increasing biomass to dangerous levels.
0169-2046
257-266
Clarke, Donna
f5db577c-32e8-400f-8b1c-c7adf8b00e91
White, John
c967b7f1-6cb1-40a0-b71c-773225dd94a5
Clarke, Donna
f5db577c-32e8-400f-8b1c-c7adf8b00e91
White, John
c967b7f1-6cb1-40a0-b71c-773225dd94a5

Clarke, Donna and White, John (2008) Towards ecological management of Australian powerline corridor vegetation. Landscape and Urban Planning, 85 (3-4), 257-266. (doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2008.03.005).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Powerline corridor management in Australia has traditionally focused on the complete removal of vegetation using short rotation times due to the perceived fire hazard associated with corridor vegetation. This study assessed vegetation recovery in a powerline corridor, following management, at three sites spanning corridor and forest habitat. Forest and corridor vegetation communities differed significantly between sites and over time. As vegetation recovered, the corridor community became a mix of plants common in the surrounding forest and open areas, changing within the 3-year study from a grass–fern to shrub–sedge community encroached by midstorey species. The current short rotations between management events unnecessarily maintain the corridor in a cycle of degradation, remove resources for native species and may allow introduced grasses and saplings to proliferate in the corridor. Maintaining a shrub layer would help avoid loss of species richness, encourage native species and limit colonisation opportunities of introduced species. Spot spraying emergent saplings and problem plants and mosaic slashing, would keep fire risk low and maintain biodiversity without increasing biomass to dangerous levels.

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Accepted/In Press date: 21 March 2008
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 May 2008
Published date: 3 June 2008

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 423433
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/423433
ISSN: 0169-2046
PURE UUID: 88015875-8017-4ee8-9df1-2d50b970c333

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Date deposited: 21 Sep 2018 16:30
Last modified: 04 Nov 2019 17:55

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