Biodiversity impacts of ground tank closure in southeast Australian rangelands

Biodiversity impacts of ground tank closure in southeast Australian rangelands Conference Paper

16th Australian Rangeland Society Biennial Conference

  • Author(s): Westbrooke, M.E., Christie, F.J., Cook, S., Florentine, S.K., Gell, P., Graz, P.
  • Published: 2010
  • Publisher: Australian Rangeland Society

Abstract: Literature suggests that provision of artificial water through bores, dams and ground tanks has negative environmental effects through increased grazing pressure, prevention of native species regeneration and promotion of exotic species. Though some native species may benefit from increased water, other species may decline. In arid environments worldwide, few areas remain distant from water. In Australia, much water provision is though ground tanks storing diverted run-off following rainfall events. Whilst closure of tanks is a recognized means of reducing negative impacts there is reluctance to utilize this strategy. Consequently, there are few opportunities to study responses of plant and animal populations to such closures. Where tank closure has occurred in areas reserved for conservation there is a lack of data on the effects on flora and fauna. Past studies have been limited in: the range of biota incorporated; lack of landscape-scale experimental manipulation; failure to replicate treatments. Research on the University of Ballarat’s 40, 000 hectare arid-zone research property, Nanya, is investigating impacts of four alternative tank treatments: fencing to exclude mammalian grazers; partial tank closure by blocking of drains; complete closure with landscaping to original profile; no action. Responses of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and ants to these treatments are being studied. Findings will help illuminate the potential for water point closure to restore balance to the surrounding landscape, an important consideration in biodiversity conservation in arid landscapes in Australia and other parts of the world.

Cite this document

Suggested Citation
Westbrooke, M.E., Christie, F.J., Cook, S., Florentine, S.K., Gell, P., Graz, P., 2010, Biodiversity impacts of ground tank closure in southeast Australian rangelands, Conference Paper, viewed 18 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3561.

Endnote Mendeley Zotero Export Google Scholar

Share this page

Search again