Ecological services play an important role in the sustainability of total ecosystems. In Queensland, native woodlands have been cleared in the past to develop productive pasture systems for greater monetary benefits. This study was conducted on paired (cleared and native/uncleared) sites for three types of major tree communities (Acacia harpophylla, Eucalyptus populnea and E. melanophloia) in central Queensland. It is hypothesized that ecological functions are ‘better’ in uncleared/native sites than in cleared sites. The paper focuses on status of soil nutrients (available and total content of N and P), soil microbial biomass (carbon and nitrogen) and seasonal soil respiration data in cleared and native woodlands. Data suggest that levels of soil microbial nitrogen are less in cleared than uncleared sites (eg cleared E. populnea (178.43 mg/kg) compared to uncleared (244.30 mg/kg); cleared E. melanophloia (147.11 mg/kg) compared to uncleared (251.65 mg/kg) and cleared A. harpophylla (386.45 mg/kg) compared to its uncleared site (480.71 kg/ha)). The role of these ecological functions is shown to be correlated with pasture production. The overall assessment of loss or otherwise of ecosystem functions in cleared pasture systems compared to uncleared/native systems can provide an indication of the stability of the total ecosystem.
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
|Event||ANZSEE Conference 2002 - Sydney, Australia|
Duration: 3 Dec 2002 → 7 Dec 2002
|Conference||ANZSEE Conference 2002|
|Period||3/12/02 → 7/12/02|