Rainforest timber plantations and the restoration of plant biodiversity in tropical and subtropical Australia

Wardell-Johnson, Grant W., Kanowski, John, Catterall, Carla P., McKenna, Steven, Piper, Scott and Lamb, David (2005). Rainforest timber plantations and the restoration of plant biodiversity in tropical and subtropical Australia. In Peter E. Erskine, David Lamb and Mila Bristow (Ed.), Reforestation in the tropics and subtropics of Australia: Using rainforest tree species (pp. 162-182) Barton, ACT, Australia: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.


Author Wardell-Johnson, Grant W.
Kanowski, John
Catterall, Carla P.
McKenna, Steven
Piper, Scott
Lamb, David
Title of chapter Rainforest timber plantations and the restoration of plant biodiversity in tropical and subtropical Australia
Title of book Reforestation in the tropics and subtropics of Australia: Using rainforest tree species
Place of Publication Barton, ACT, Australia
Publisher Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
Publication Year 2005
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Series RIRDC Publication
ISBN 174151150X
ISSN 1440-6845
Editor Peter E. Erskine
David Lamb
Mila Bristow
Volume number 05/087
Chapter number 11
Start page 162
End page 182
Total pages 21
Total chapters 16
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subjects 300801 Environmental Management and Rehabilitation
770707 Rehabilitation/reafforestation
0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
0705 Forestry Sciences
Formatted Abstract/Summary
We compared the species richness, growth forms and assemblages of vascular plants in five types of
rainforest reforestation with pasture and forest reference sites in tropical and subtropical Australia.
These types include unmanaged regrowth, young and old monoculture plantations, young rainforest
cabinet timber species plantations and plantings designed to restore natural rainforest communities.
Patterns of species richness across these reforestation types differed between the tropics and
subtropics, although all reforestation types supported fewer species than natural rainforest reference
sites. In the tropics similar numbers of introduced (i.e. non-native) species occurred in all types of
reforestation (with the exception of old plantations which included few introduced species) and
pasture reference sites. This contrasts with the subtropics where the greatest numbers of introduced
species were associated with cabinet timber plantings. Greater diversity of growth forms (including
epiphytes and vines) occurred in rainforest reference sites than in any type of reforestation. The
assemblages of canopy trees (including both planted species and recruits) varied in their
resemblance to rainforest reference sites in the different types of reforestation in the two regions.
However, there was a tendency for young plantations to be most dissimilar to rainforest reference
sites. On the other hand, old (ca. 60 years) plantation sites in the tropics were similar to natural
rainforest reference sites. This was due to their close proximity to remnants and low intensity
management regimes.

Because species richness and growth form obscures the importance of particular species in
reforestation, we targeted eight common species (four native and four introduced) as exemplars of
the possible biodiversity future under the different types of reforestation. These species demonstrated
the individuality of species behaviour under different types of reforestation. Rainforest timber
plantations can lead to increased biodiversity if they are designed to facilitate the colonization of
rainforest taxa, and managed to favour processes associated with the development of a rainforest
environment. Negative outcomes for rainforest biodiversity follow the establishment of non-rainforest
species or processes (e.g. persistent high understorey light levels) not associated with a rainforest
environment. Management and designs to minimize the need for ongoing intervention will be
important economic considerations in future reforestation efforts aimed at restoring biodiversity.
Keyword Rainforest - Australia
Plant biodiversity
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes "A technical workshop was convened in June 2003 to review what we have learned in the past ten or so years of reforesting with rainforest and tropical species. The workshop was attended by many of those who have been involved in the reforestation effort in both Queensland and northern New South Wales. This peer-reviewed book documents the lessons learned as a result of their experiences." ; "A report for the RIRDC/Land & Water Australia/FWPRDC/MDBC Joint Venture Agroforestry Program, together with the Rainforest Cooperative Research Centre"

 
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Created: Thu, 23 Aug 2007, 21:00:44 EST