Determining the condition of Native Pine woodlands to plan for restoration
If you have native pine on your property you may be able to improve its ecological value by carrying out restoration within the patch.
When planning to carry out restoration activities within native pines it is important to identify the structure of the historical habitat type you are aiming to restore or re-create. Ie Callitris gracilis low open woodland or Callitris verrucosa tall open shrubland.
Restoration will not only need to include the pines themselves, but also the ground, shrub and canopy layer. The MMLAP can offer assistance with identifying the correct vegetation structure and species composition.
Once the habitat type has been identified the appropriate restoration technique can be determined that will replicate the original structure. The restoration technique will be dependant on the condition of the patch.
There are three basic patch conditions to look for;
1: Site with the capacity to regenerate naturally.
These sites will have healthy existing pines and additional remnant plant species.
The restoration technique will be to support natural regeneration through the following;
Pest plant and animal management
Reduce / remove grazing animals
Monitor natural regeneration (Photo points are useful for this)
After 5 years it will be necessary to assess and determine if there are any missing components, if so carefully re-establish these into the patch.
2: Cleared environments
These sites will be cleared of all native vegetation. It is important to ensure no remnant species occur on site - if there are remnant plants, plan a revegetation program that will not adversely affect these.
The restoration technique will aim to replicate the historical vegetation community and will require the following steps;
Determine appropriate plant species
Source seed / tubestock for revegetation program
Monitor and manage pests
Carry out revegetation program in appropriate seasonal conditions
3: Site requiring combination of natural regeneration and revegetation.
These sites will have some limited remnant vegetation
The restoration technique will require a combination of natural regeneration and revegetation though the following steps;
Reduce / removing grazing animals
Pest plant and animal control
Determine and map areas that are cleared and areas where remnant vegetation remains and plan restoration / revegetation accordingly as outlined in patch condition restoration techniques.
The information above has been taken from "Restoring native pine Callitris gracilis woodlands - A Guide for the Coorong Local Action Planning Region".
For for further information on carrying out a restoration project please contact the MMLAP.