Leaky Landscapes Symposium

From the ground up: Climate proofing our landscapes and biodiversity – Practical approaches to soil absorption and techniques for fixing desertified landscapes

8th and 9th October 2021

Online via Zoom Keynote speakers include Dr David Tongway, Professor David Watson, Dr Jon Fawcett and more to come

Tickets are FREE for all Biolinks Alliance Network Members and students (tickets must be purchased with a relevant organisation email address or student email)

This Symposium will be looking at practical approaches to fixing the damaged landscapes of central Victoria making them more absorbent (less leaky) and so more biologically productive and better able to withstand the impacts of climate change.

Restoring and climate proofing our environment is widely recognised as being essential to helping biodiversity adapt to climate change – but what is less well understood is how to do this.

Many of our natural systems are less healthy, biodiverse and productive than they once were, due to histories of degradation through gold mining, timber cutting and agriculture. Their soils are no longer porous enough to absorb rainfall so less water is available to the landscape and its food webs. Hotter, drier, more variable weather brought on by climate change is amplifying the ‘desertification’ of environments.

It will be a forum for researchers, conservation practitioners, landholders and land managers and interested community members to share information and experiences, form connections and develop collaborative and strategic approaches to ecosystem restoration that specifically aim to restore and climate-proof damaged landscapes by rebuilding soil health and water holding capacity for carbon, hydrology, productivity and biodiversity (improved habitat/resources for threatened species) benefits.

Even though we might feel that urgent global action on emissions reduction is out of our hands, there are things we can do to better prepare our backyards and local landscapes for the worst impacts of Climate Change.

This forum showcases 21st century strategies and practical case studies that has been largely missing from policy debates about local environment climate change mitigation. There is so much more that needs to be done and can be done if we work together effectively to make it happen.

It will bring together leading researchers, exemplar projects and interested practitioners in a two-day event exploring the science and practice of improving the hydrological function of landscapes, in order to support people to take practical actions to building climate resilience in their local regions.


General public tickets are $15 (all sessions)

Government Agencies/Industry professionals are $50 (all sessions)

North Central Chat – August edition

Hello readers,

We hope you enjoy the latest edition of the North Central ChatNorth Central Chat (nccma.vic.gov.au)

HAPPY LANDCARE WEEK!!!

Across Australia we’re celebrating Landcare Week from August 2-8, coinciding with the 2021 National Landcare Virtual Conference and Awards on the 5th & 6th August.

Presenters from our region include Danny Pettingill of the Loddon Plains Landcare Network- Check out the full program . Topics cover 4 themes and speakers are drawn from across Australia. The conference and awards are hosted by the one and only COSTA!

Enjoy the read,

Tess.

Tess Grieves

Regional Landcare Coordinator

MANAGING SERRATED TUSSOCK IN WINTER

Serrated tussock has infested over 250,000 hectares of land in Victoria, and has caused great damage to agriculture and native grasslands. Now is a good time to inspect your property for serrated tussock, with increased plant visibility due to frost bleaching. In frost prone areas, the tussocks are bleached a golden yellow to white colour by frost during late autumn and winter. Serrated tussock has a white leaf base, while the tips of old leaves often have a bleached tip.

Note the bleached leaves of the serrated tussock plant in early winter (VSTWP).

The change in colour makes the plants easier to spot in a paddock, making now a good time to do a survey of your land. The recent rains and autumn break in some parts of Victoria has been good for crops, but unfortunately, also good for the growth of serrated tussock. Controlling serrated tussock before the plant goes to seed is critical to prevent further spread, lost productivity and increased control requirements.

Serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma) is a long-lived perennial that can invade poor soils and survive fire, drought and frost. It reduces the productivity of pasture and can create a fire hazard. Its fibre content is so high that stock are unable to digest it. Seeds are spread by the wind, machinery and also by water and animals. The seed remains viable in the soil for more than 10 years and can dominate if there is no competition from other pasture species.

Depending on the size of the infestation plants can be removed manually using a hoe or spade, or spot sprayed using a registered herbicide. Small seedlings recently germinated will appear bright green until they are bleached by frost, and will be erect and stand out from the other grasses in a pasture. The Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP) has a host of information on treatment options and case studies, including videos and information sheets that can be posted or emailed to landowners.

A large infestation of serrated tussock in a grazing paddock near Bacchus Marsh Victoria (VSTWP).

“We are asking landowners to conduct assessments of their properties before Spring, when the grass starts to flower. Serrated tussock flowerheads develop a distinctive purple colour as the seeds ripen in late spring and early summer. During winter you will be able to see the plants easily when they are bleached a lighter colour,” said VSTWP Community Engagement Officer, Ivan Carter.

The VSTWP has developed an online video and information sheets to help landowners identify the noxious weed, which can be viewed at www.serratedtussock.com.

A serrated tussock plant can germinate over the summer and autumn months if there is enough rainfall, as well as spring.

“Serrated tussock is a costly weed to have on your property, especially when it becomes established,” Mr Carter said. “It is best to check your property for new infestations and treat plants every season before seeding” he said. “A mature serrated tussock plant can produce thousands of seeds in a season, blowing up to 20 kilometres from the parent plant.”

For further information, please contact the VSTWP on info@serratedtussock.com or visit www.serratedtussock.com .