Bush regeneration refers to all attempts made in a bid to rehabilitate vegetative cover in an area of land that has undergone degradation. The main objective of undertaking bush regeneration is to facilitate the natural regrowth of plants species that are indigenous to the particular area, hence restoration of the local ecosystem. This article provides answers to a few common questions about bush regeneration for the benefit of student environmental scientists.
What Creates The Need For Bush Regeneration?
Various factors may lead to the degradation of an ecosystem, which creates the need to undertake bush regeneration. These factors include:
- Habitat fragmentation: This refers to the destruction the natural habitats of different animal species. Fragmentation occurs when vegetative cover in an ecosystem is cleared so that the land can be put to alternative use (e.g. agriculture).
- Weed invasion: This happens when weeds take over an ecosystem by displacing and out-competing native plant species for the limited amount of sunlight and soil nutrients available in the ecosystem. Examples of weeds commonly targeted for removal during bush regeneration include Lantana Camara, the broad and small-leafed Privet, the alligator weed, and the morning glory plant.
What Are The "3 Rs" Of Bush Regeneration?
The "3 R" approach to bush regeneration provides a guideline that ecological specialists should use when looking to regenerate a degraded ecosystem.
- The first "R" emphasizes the need to first retain and conserve areas of the land that haven't been affected by degradation. Such areas should be protected from potential threats (e.g. weeds) that may interfere with the ecological balance therein.
- The second "R" emphasizes that regeneration (through the mitigation of threats) should use as a strategy to facilitate natural regeneration of the ecosystem.
- The third "R" emphasizes that re-planting of vegetative cover should be a last resort after it has been established that ecosystem resilience in the affected area is poor.
What Is Ecosystem Resilience and Why Is It Important in Bush Regeneration?
Ecosystem resilience refers to the inherent ability of plant life in a degraded ecosystem to recover from the damaging effects of degradation without human intervention. There are two types of ecosystem resilience. In-situ resilience is a measure of the ecosystem's ability to regenerate using materials found on-site. Migratory resilience refers to the regeneration ability of the ecosystem using material imported to the site by "foreign" organism, or material generated through various geophysical processes.
Ecosystem resilience is important as it determines the rate at which natural bush regeneration will occur. Activities undertaken during bush regeneration are often aimed at manipulating the ecosystem resilience for a faster rate of regeneration. For more information, visit EcoHort Pty Ltd.