Native vegetation achieves more than meets the eye

News article |

Providing shade for a picnic or playground, a roadside display of wildflowers or a picturesque view out the window; native vegetation can be enjoyed and appreciated in many different ways.

Along with the social benefits, native vegetation can provide a variety of environmental and economic advantages.

From unassuming grasses to the tallest eucalypt, all vegetation assists in enhancing biodiversity by providing shelter and food for birds, bats, insects and other animals.

The vegetation debris that falls to the ground is also habitat, and when broken down by soil organisms the nutrients are returned to the soil to be used by other plants.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Community Ranger Rebecca Brown said single trees scattered throughout a property were extremely valuable to the environment.

"They provide corridors between remnant vegetation patches for many animals, such as birds and insects," she said.

"Removing them could result in major losses to these species and the benefits that they provide to a property such as pollination."

Native vegetation can provide windbreaks, shade and shelter for stock and habitat for natural crop-pest predators, such as insectivorous bats and birds.

Ms Brown also advises that the benefits extend to increased crop yields.

"Pollination by native bees can increase legume and canola crop yields, as they rely on the native vegetation for housing, and food when the crops are not flowering," she said.

Salinity caused by rising water tables and erosion are problematic Australia-wide, but native vegetation assists in managing these issues by controlling the water table levels, protecting soils and preventing land degradation.

If you would like to add some native vegetation to your property, the Australian Government funded ‘Local Communities Restoring Critical habitat and Landscape Linkages in the Southern Yorke Peninsula’ project is in its final year and has funding available for revegetation works west of Warooka, for areas greater than 2 hectares.

To become involved in this project, or for further information about planting native vegetation, please call the Natural Resource Centre on 8841 3444.

The South Australian Government is committed to reducing the rate of native vegetation clearance. If you need to clear or remove any native vegetation check that you comply with certain requirements as you may need to apply for approval.

Further information can be found on the Natural Resources Northern and Yorke website: http://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ny/plants-and-animals/native-plants-and-animals/native-vegetation-management

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