Do Current revegetation practices applied at biodiverse carbon plantings near Perenjori facilitate recovery of ecosystem functions and biodiversity? Additional mulch and wood can reduce the extensive time lag of leaf-litter and woody debris accumulation associated with revegetation, thereby improve rate and quality of restoration outcomes.
- Complete comprehensive survey results of the biodiversity of invertebrate communities in re-vegetated and remnant sites.
- Assist industry in making informed decisions to ensure successful restoration of ecosystem functions and biodiversity.
6 field trips have been undertaken were various ecosystem functions and biodiversity components have been measured. Data has been collected for soil chemistry, penetration resistance of soils, water infiltration rates, soil bulk density, leaf litter cover and amount, woody debris cover and invertebrate diversity across remnant woodlands, revegetated sites and cleared paddocks.
Ecosystem function measures for decomposition (termite and microorganisms) and nutrient cycling are currently deployed on all sites and will be collected in November/December 2017.
Data collection has been progressing, aided by the assistance of volunteers. Science permits for invertebrate, flora and soil collections have been obtained from the appropriate Department.
Highest number of flora species were found in the woodland sites (average 35 species), re-vegetated sites had an average species richness of 25. Richness of exotic species was also slightly higher on the re-vegetated sites, in particular annual weed species. The woodland sites had twice as many native perennial species than the re-vegetated sites.
A total of 145 species of ants (Formicidae) across four subfamilies and five functional groups were found on all sites. The highest abundance and richness of ant species was found in the remnant woodland sites, however re-vegetated sites had a more bio-diverse ant fauna compared to cleared sites. It was noted that specialist ant predators, one important functional group of ant species, was not found on any of the sites. This could potentially be due to the remnant woodland sites were relatively small and highly fragmented, therefore not able to support specialist and predators.
Compaction of the soil, measured as bulk density and penetration resistance, was lowest in the woodland sites and highest in the cleared sites. Measured values for re-vegetated sites were in between those of the woodland and cleared sites, indicating that restoring perennial plant cover might reduce compaction of the soil.
Soil moisture content measured 2% for all cleared and re-vegetated sites, and 2.5% for all woodland sites. Soil Organic Carbon in the topsoil was only slightly higher in the re-vegetated sites than the cleared sites, but substantially higher in the woodland sites. These results mirror other studies, suggesting that soil carbon stocks take a long time to build up after agricultural practices have ceased.
- OrganisationCarbon Neutral Pty Ltd