Forest recovery in an Australian amenity landscape: implications for biodiversity conservation on small-acreage properties

Meadows, John, Herbohn, John, and Emtage, Nick (2018) Forest recovery in an Australian amenity landscape: implications for biodiversity conservation on small-acreage properties. Biodiversity and Conservation, 27 (1). pp. 69-90.

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Some urbanising rural (i.e. ‘amenity’) landscapes have seen an increase in forest cover over recent decades. Small-acreage landowners are key stakeholders in this forest recovery and its future ecological trajectory. Using 17 qualitative case-studies of small-acreage properties located in the Noosa hinterland in south-east Queensland, this study explores the types and condition of forests on these properties, the landholder’s differing forest management perspectives, practices and outcomes, and the implications for local biodiversity conservation. The properties contained a diverse mix of managed and un-managed natural and planted forests. Invasive weed species were a common component. Protecting and enhancing the ecological values of amenity landscapes will require an increase in active, best-practice forest management on small-acreage properties. Small-acreage landowners will require greater access to labour support and other subsidised resources to implement recommended practices. Such practices include controlling and reducing the spread of invasive weeds and soil erosion, reducing fire hazards, and positively influencing the rate and pathway of succession in regrowth forests. Peer-mentoring programs incorporating guided tours of ‘model’ small-acreage forests, and supporting landowners to establish their own small native plant nurseries and engage with local community nurseries (i.e. supplying seeds, volunteering labour), could help to increase small-acreage landowners’ forest management interests, knowledge, skills and activity. Long-term cooperative, cross-boundary forest management projects with on-going monitoring and adaptive management guided or implemented by skilled professionals are needed in amenity landscapes, particularly to increase the success of restoration interventions in weed-dominated regrowth forests. There is also a need for long-term socio-ecological analyses of amenity landscapes’ diverse and evolving small-acreage forests to better inform their future management.

Item ID: 50190
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1572-9710
Keywords: agroforest, ecosystem restoration, lowland subtropical rainforest, novel ecosystem NRM, support programs, socio-ecological analysis
Funders: Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), University of Queensland (UQ)
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2017 02:24
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3007 Forestry sciences > 300707 Forestry management and environment @ 80%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300208 Farm management, rural management and agribusiness @ 20%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8201 Forestry > 820199 Forestry not elsewhere classified @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960911 Urban and Industrial Land Management @ 30%
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