Cockatoo Grass Alloteropsis semialata as a keystone species in northern Australia

Crowley, Gabriel (2008) Cockatoo Grass Alloteropsis semialata as a keystone species in northern Australia. Northern Territory Naturalist, 20. pp. 58-63.

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Cockatoo Grass fills an important role in the tropical savannas of Australia and elsewhere, providing food for seed-eating birds and small mammals, often at times when other foods are scarce or difficult to obtain. It can be considered a "keystone" species for at least two animal species that rely on it to survive when other foods are unavailable, the Golden-shouldered Parrot and Northern Bettong. Cockatoo Grass is also highly susceptible to overgrazing by pigs and cattle. Protection of healthy stands of Cockatoo Grass is therefore important for the conservation of biodiversity in the Australian savannas. While exclusion of cattle and pigs from important stands will allow the greatest development of plants and maximise seed production, healthy stands can also persist under recommended best practice pastoral management for Australian rangelands. This includes spelling native pastures from cattle grazing in the early wet season, and light to moderate pasture utilisation rates. In some circumstances, disturbance from fire may also be beneficial in allowing the species to compete with more vigorous grasses.

Item ID: 34491
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 0155-4093
Keywords: Alloteropsis semialata; tropical ecology; grasses; granivores
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2014 02:23
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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