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Ms Tanya Bailey

profile_bailey_thumbMs Tanya Bailey
PhD student

Topic: recreating the eucalypt regeneration niche in degraded remnants within production landscapes

University of Tasmania

Many remnant vegetation patches in the agricultural and plantation landscapes are degraded through grazing; cultivation, fertilisation, altered fire regimes and the introduction of exotic pasture and weed species. Negative impacts include loss of structural diversity and habitat, decline in species richness, deterioration of soil structure, soil nutrient enrichment, changes in soil microbe populations, change in pest/predator insect balance, increased browsing pressure from possums and invasion by exotic species. The complex interactions of these effects contribute to tree decline and an associated lack of eucalypt recruitment, both of which are particularly severe in the low rainfall districts of Tasmania where this study is located.

Strategies for the reversal of the degradation of these remnants and the development of restoration techniques are needed to conserve biodiversity within production landscapes.

Restoration can be informed through the study of the natural regenerative processes of healthy forest by identifying the attributes of the microsites in which eucalypts establish (regeneration niche) and survive (persistence niche).

This PhD project aims to:

  • Describe eucalypt regeneration and persistence niches in Midlands Tasmania.
  • Facilitate eucalypt recruitment within native vegetation remnants in production landscapes by developing methods to establish the regeneration and persistence niches in degraded remnants.

I have come to this project with a degree in horticultural science from the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury (for which I was awarded a University Medal), and an honours year at the University of Tasmania looking at the problem of weeds in Forestry Tasmania’s eucalypt seedling nursery. I also have an employment background in retail nurseries and garden advice. I have a grand passion for plants and the problem of tree decline has interested and distressed me since my first drive through the Midlands soon after moving to Tasmania in 2000. In 2007 I joined researchers in the Biodiversity Group lead by my supervisors Dr Neil Davidson and Dr Dugald Close from the School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania that have been studying the causes of declining remnant health and are now looking for ways of improve it. I am also being supervised by Dr Greg Unwin from the School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Tasmania, and Dr Tim Wardlaw of Forestry Tasmania.

The research is funded by the Cuthbertson Tasmania Research Scholarship, CRC for Forestry and NRM South Tasmania.

 

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Tanya Bailey, Neil Davidson and Dugald Close surveying trees in decline within remnant vegetation surrounded by plantation (Evercreech Valley, Fingal, Tasmania).

 

 

This project is part of the CRC for Forestry Biodiversity Project (Project 4.2), subproject 4.2.2, which focuses on biodiversity outcomes from plantation expansion into agricultural and native forest landscapes.

To browse other PhD projects available with the Biodiversity Project, click here

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