Increased plant biodiversity will strengthen the floodplain’s ecosystem.

Increased plant biodiversity will strengthen the floodplain’s ecosystem.

Revegetation program a boost for local communities

Reference: 06/24

A local revegetation program is not only improving the health of Tully-Murray’s waterways and wetlands but also producing important biodiversity benefits.

  • 14 February 2006

In the 10 years that the Cardwell Shire Council has been investing in its strategic revegetation program the number of plant species has doubled in several of the revegetation sites, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems’ Dr David Westcott says.

“These new species weren’t planted by council, they arrived using natural processes and they include some endangered and rare plant species,” Dr Westcott says. 

“Increased plant biodiversity – greater numbers and types of plants – will strengthen the floodplain’s ecosystem and build long-term viability through healthy, functioning natural systems.”

A three-year CSIRO research project, supported by the Earthwatch Institute and Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, is collecting biodiversity data to provide information necessary for the long-term management of area’s natural resources. The research project is working in close partnership with council’s revegetation program.

“Increased plant biodiversity – greater numbers and types of plants – will strengthen the floodplain’s ecosystem and build long-term viability through healthy, functioning natural systems.”

The Cardwell Shire Floodplain Program is supporting the research by encouraging the community to take part in a variety of activities to improve land management practices and protect the area’s biodiversity and lifestyle.

“We are building important links between landholders, industry and science through this research project,” Cardwell Shire Floodplain Program chair, Bill Shannon says. 

“A revegetation project that started with landholders wanting to rehabilitate a local, degraded creek is now providing opportunities for us to test the health of land we have improved and the area’s natural ecosystems.”

The research is part of the Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Floodplain Renewal program to develop land use and landscape management solutions for coastal floodplains in the Great Barrier Reef region.

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