Transitions across thresholds in Western Australian grazed rangelands

Transitions across thresholds in Western Australian grazed rangelands Conference Paper

16th Australian Rangeland Society Biennial Conference

  • Author(s): Watson, I., Novelly, P.
  • Published: 2010
  • Publisher: Australian Rangeland Society

Abstract: Thresholds and transitions between states are well-accepted components of the models of range dynamics. By definition, they represent a change from one state to another that is intransient and unlikely to reverse within an acceptable management timeframe or without significant management input. While more obvious transitions include those gross changes that occurred when livestock were introduced to Australian rangelands, transitions still occur under contemporary pastoralism. We used a state-wide monitoring data set to examine transitions that have occurred in the Western Australian pastoral rangelands over approximately the last 15 years. We found examples of transitions that were desirable as well as undesirable from a pastoral perspective. Transitions differed to the extent that they represented fundamental change to ecosystem dynamics or production potential as distinct from representing no more than substantial changes in species composition. This is important because once a threshold has been crossed, both managers and regulators need to adjust to the new reality, altering management to best address the new state and altering regulatory expectations so that condition is assessed within the context of the current state and its capacity to change.

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Watson, I., Novelly, P., 2010, Transitions across thresholds in Western Australian grazed rangelands, Conference Paper, viewed 07 August 2022,

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