A Conservation Planning Framework for South Australia’s arid lands

A Conservation Planning Framework for South Australia’s arid lands Conference Paper

17th Australian Rangeland Society Biennial Conference

  • Author(s): Allen McIlwee, Rob Brandle, John McDonald
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: Australian Rangeland Society

Abstract: Determining the level of investment and support needed to maintain biodiversity across vast areas is difficult. In response to this challenge the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources has developed an information synthesis and evaluation process known as the “Aridlands Landscape Assessment Framework” (ALAF), which attempts to provide a systematic basis for landscape-specific conservation planning and priority setting across the arid zone. The project is part of a broader scoping study that supports the development of the Trans-Australian Ecolink Initiative in South Australia (TAEL SA). The ALAF is an analytical and conceptual framework that seeks to define ecosystem components and ecological processes operating at a landscape level. This requires a systematic process to name and identify plant communities that occur in distinct biophysical settings. The next, more difficult challenge is to document the dynamic processes that drive change within a landscape, to assist our understanding of how systems vary in space and time. The last step in the ALAF is to identify which components are most under threat, where and for what reasons. Here we provide an outline of the ALAF process and snap-shot of current knowledge for Witjira National Park in northern South Australia. The most resilient ecosystem types appear to be those with physical attributes that limit soil erosion, retain water and support woody shrubs with low palatability during dry times. This is largely due to the ability of these systems to accumulate soil moisture, nutrients and biological propagules.

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Suggested Citation
Allen McIlwee, Rob Brandle, John McDonald, 2012, A Conservation Planning Framework for South Australia’s arid lands, Conference Paper, viewed 08 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3652.

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