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Www.csiro.au Identifying Production-Environment Tradeoffs Associated with Grazing Land Management N.D. MacLeod & J.G. McIvor CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems,

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Presentation on theme: "Www.csiro.au Identifying Production-Environment Tradeoffs Associated with Grazing Land Management N.D. MacLeod & J.G. McIvor CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Identifying Production-Environment Tradeoffs Associated with Grazing Land Management N.D. MacLeod & J.G. McIvor CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, St Lucia Q 4067

2 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Road map Talk (& manuscript) covers the following: Introduction/background. Principles and thresholds for landscape design. Application of the ecological principles. Exploring production-environmental tradeoffs. Applying the framework – a case study from the subtropical woodlands. Description of the case study property Example 1 – Tree clearing Example 2 - Tree planting Concluding remarks – some issues.

3 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Introduction Key features of contemporary grazing land management: Intensification of management practices. Simplification of landscape ecological structure. Intensification has obvious economic benefits. Simplification commonly has an ecological downside. Landscape resources typically resistant & resilient. Ecological processes have `thresholds & limits. Pushed too hard landscapes leak resources. Trade-offs are implied. Assessment framework briefly discussed Application demonstrated with case studies (tree clearing & planting)

4 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Management intensification Rational (& necessary) response to chronic cost-price squeeze: Raise productivity (per animal, hectare etc). Cut labour & other costs etc. Exploit economies of scale. Examples: Tree clearing & thinning Pasture sowing & augmentation Advanced breeding & nutrition Grazing systems (esp. high intensity, short duration) Infrastructure – waters, subdivision etc Mandatory for viable pastoralism & process will not abate

5 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Landscape dysfunction Well recognised (documented) & include: Declining productivity of native & sown pastures Reduced drought tolerance of pastures Soil structure decline & increased erosion Salination of land & water Tree decline at landscape scales Acidification of soils Loss of important plant & animal species (locally & regionally) Eutrophication of watercourses & lakes Encroachment &/or invasions of native & exotic weeds Loss of future land use options (e.g. eco-tourism, timber, bush foods) Key to sustainable land management is to stay within ecological limits

6 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Principles & thresholds CSIRO grazing land management research mid 1990s: Integration of landscape ecology & conservation biology. Landscape cf. paddock focus. Developed integrated set of landscape design principles. Trees, pastures, soils, riparian lands, wildlife habitat etc. Included elements of both resource & nature conservation. Identified thresholds (empirical, judgement, precaution). Tested with whole of enterprise case studies & modelling Full application of the principles uneconomic for private landholders. Partial application (trade-offs) warranted exploration. Full application probably socially warranted (some empirical support).

7 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Ecological health assessment Existing management activity Revised management activity #1 Trade-off assessment Revised management activity #N Review iterations (N) cease when an acceptable compromise is reached or no feasible improvement is acknowledged Trade-off assessment Maintain existing management activity Economic assessment Acceptable? Yes Technical & management review No Ecological health assessment Economic assessment Acceptable? No Adopt revised management activity Yes Assessment framework

8 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Economic assessment

9 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Ecological Assessment Component A. Maintenance of ecosystem function and stability Attribute 1. Soils and hydrology (6 indicators) Attribute 2. Pastures (cover and composition, perennial grasses) Attribute 3. Weeds (species, density/cover) Attribute 4. Feral animals (species, density) Attribute 5. Riparian areas Attribute 6. Atmosphere (greenhouse gas emissions) Component B. Conservation of biodiversity (2 indicators) Attribute 7. Native vegetation and habitat (5 indicators) Attribute 8. Native animal populations (size & viability) Ranked -3 to 3 and aggregated to single `ecological condition score

10 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Two management options: Tree clearing 1000ha (SLIB) Tree planting 100ha (SLIB) Case study – Tropical woodlands beef property Inland Burnett Region 7000ha total 3 Land classes (SLIB, NLIB, BG) Tree clearing 3900ha Sown pasture 800ha 1530 adult equivalents SR (SLIB) 8ha/AE LWG (SLIB) 140kg/hd/yr WIWO $1.3 million

11 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Result #1 – Tree clearing (1000ha) ExistingRevisedChange Economic Attributes: Total number of stock carried (AE)1,5311, Total number of stock sold (Head) Property gross margin ($000) Property net profit ($000) Property return to capital (%) Property capital value ($000)1,5951, Capital cost of management change ($000)N/A150 Ecological Attributes: 1. Soils and hydrology Pastures Weeds Feral animals Riparian areas Atmosphere Native vegetation and habitat Native animal populations -2 A. Ecosystem function and stability -3-2 B. Conservation of biodiversity Total score

12 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Result #2 – Tree planting (100ha) ExistingRevisedChange Economic Attributes: Total number of stock carried (AE)1,5311, Total number of stock sold (Head) Property gross margin ($000) Property net profit ($000) Property return to capital (%) Property capital value ($000)1,5951,588-7 Capital cost of management change ($000)N/A100 Ecological Attributes: 1. Soils and hydrology Pastures Weeds 0 4. Feral animals Riparian areas Atmosphere Native vegetation and habitat Native animal populations 0+1 A. Ecosystem function and stability+4+5 B. Conservation of biodiversity -3+2 Total score

13 Trade-offs Workshop, Rockhampton 28 October 2005 Concluding remarks - issues Tradeoffs are inevitable – few `win-wins in real world (esp. private): Assessment framework places options in consistent & transparent context. Present framework quite rudimentary. Being tested for usefulness (Charters Towers Qld, Victoria River NT) Some issues: Scale – spatial & temporal Uncertainties Multiple uses & multiple users Starting point & differential outcomes Different value metrics Thresholds & bottom lines

14 Thank you Contact CSIRO Phone Webwww.csiro.au


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