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Thesis Details
TitleEvaluation of the effects of tree clearing over time on soil properties, pasture composition and productivity
AuthorSangha, Kamaljit Kaur
InstitutionCentral Queensland University
AbstractTree clearing is practised for greater beef production and hence monetary gains from grazing systems of central Queensland. The high rates of clearing in the past and even recently (577, 000 ha/yr during 1999-2001) were mainly to develop land for pastures. The sustainability of cleared pasture systems over the long-term is questioned. Three major types of tree communities i.e. Eucalyptus populnea F. Muell., E. melanophloia F. Muell. and Acacia harpophylla F. Muell. ex. Benth. were selected on one property in central Queensland to quantify the impacts of clearing on pasture production and composition, and soil properties. The impacts were measured over time-since-clearing (recent (<5 years), medium (11-13years) and old (>30 years)) in unreplicated cleared pastures in comparison to their replicated uncleared/intact woodland pastures of each tree community. Measures of pasture above-ground biomass production on a single property over time-sinceclearing in cleared systems showed that gains were not sustained over the long-term. The difference in response to clearing between tree communities was evident and important to support the future policy decisions. The impact of clearing on soil properties (physicochemical and biological) was confirmed, and explained the lesser availability of nutrients with time of clearing in cleared pastures. The changes in some soil properties underscored the associated risks and changes in ecosystem functions due to clearing. Less litter was produced at cleared than uncleared pastures, but nutrient release was faster at cleared compared to uncleared systems. The overall effect of clearing in terms of pasture and litter production, and major soil parameters were analysed using multivariate analyses.
Thesis 01front.pdf 65.8 Kb
02whole.pdf 2251.1 Kb