Integrated landscape ecology: A Western Australian perspective

Richard J. Hobbs, Denis A. Saunders, Graham W. Arnold

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55 Citations (Scopus)


The wheatbelt of Western Australia now has severe nature conservation and agricultural problems resulting from rapid and excessive clearing of native vegetation. The landscape is comprised of a large number of small remnants of native vegetation within an agricultural matrix. Currently, different segments of the landscape are managed virtually in isolation, despite the functional interdependence of these elements. Fragmented management of the landscape means that neither conservation problems or agricultural land degradation can be tackled adequately. Similarly, management of conservation networks is rendered difficult. We suggest that management has to be integrated across the landscape, and that complementary strategies can be evolved which simultaneously meet the objectives of conservation and production management. Revegetation for the reduction of land degradation such as salinisation, waterlogging or erosion can also benefit nature conservation. Enhancement of existing conservation networks is possible using this strategy, which can be incorporated into the farm planning process. To be successful, integrated landscape planning and management must be carried out by the local human community, with expert guidance but not interference from government agencies. The situation in the Western Australian wheatbelt has relevance in most other parts of the world where conservation and production needs have to be balanced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Conservation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

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