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Understanding Mulga: Benefits and Outcomes

Benefits
An improved understanding of Mulga will enable the species and communities to be better-protected from environmental perturbations, to be more effectively managed and sustainably utilized, will facilitate the identification of high priority areas for conservation together with other land uses and will lead to significant capacity-building within rangeland user communities that will result in numerous benefits such as:

  • Increased capacity for land managers to implement programs to mitigate threats and/or reduce pressures on Mulga and the environment.  This will result from developing a better understanding of how different Mulga types and communities respond to environmental perturbations (drought) and threatening processes (inappropriate fire regime).

  • Better enable land managers and regulators to develop, assess and approve land use plans while ensuring appropriate biodiversity conservation outcomes. This will result from an improved understanding of the distribution and conservation status of Mulga by distinguishing between widespread, common species and those with restricted geographic ranges.

  • An increased capacity throughout the pastoral estate to sustainably utilize Mulga.  This will occur because the responses of different Mulga types to pastoral land management practices (e.g. prescribed burning) and grazing can be quantified and used in the development of whole-of-station management plans.

  • Greater certainty for land rehabilitation practitioners to implement rehabilitation programs and attain completion criteria because the ecological requirements of different Mulga types can be quantified and addressed through the design of site rehabilitation programs aimed at creating self perpetuating Mulga ecosystem.

  • Better insights into the biological basis for differences in the traditional uses of different Mulga types and potentially the resolution of uncertainty in respect to the ethnobotanical use/potential of these types.

These benefits are aligned with numerous Federal and State government initiatives designed to promote sustainable land use and biodiversity conservation across the Australia rangelands and have direct relevance to current/proposed research and applied management activities in Western Australia rangelands.

Outcomes
The main deliverables will be:

  • Production of a “Mulga Manual” that will comprehensively describe, discuss and illustrate the different Mulga entities.  The Manual will be produce in hard copy and will be made available across the World Wide Web.  A simplified version of the Manual targeting non-specialist users will also be produced.

  • Production of a user-friendly, electronic identification key enabling Mulga types to be easily and reliably named.  See Key to Mulga Taxa

  • Determination of the genetic factors responsible of causing and maintaining diversity within the Mulga group.  See Mulga taxa, descriptions and photos.

  • Provision of direction for future biological and ecological studies of Mulga so that the species and its congeners may be effectively managed, conserved and sustainably utilized.

  • Peer-reviewed scientific publications describing new species of Mulga and detailing genetic systems operating within the group.

  • Assessment of the conservation status of Mulga taxa in Western Australia.

  • A basis for understanding Mulga across its entire geographic range within Australia.

 

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Page last updated: Thursday 15 December 2016