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Topic Grassland management
Question Is it possible to restore degraded grasslands back to high quality grassland ecosystems? Do you have any examples illustrating how this can be done/has been done?
Expert Dr John Morgan
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Dr John Morgan is a research scientist in the Department of Botany at La Trobe University, Bundoora. John has worked for many years in the grassy ecosystems of southern Australia, concentrating on understanding the long-term changes that occur in species composition in the context of land-use change, ecological management and plant invasions, relating his findings to conservation and biodiversity.

Personally, I think it’s very hard. We can re-establish early successional species (they’re the good colonizers) by scraping away the topsoil and sowing them much like you would a lawn. But will they persist for the long-term? Who knows? We know this option is expensive too, so it’ll never be applied at big scales. Instead, we need to recognize that the enhancement of degraded remnants is probably a better long-term option.

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