Remnants of grassy ecosystems can generally be recognised by perennial native grass tussocks, moss & lichen cover between grassy tussocks and annual herbs, lilies and orchids. Groups of tree and shrub patches may be noticeable however these will be scattered in the landscape.
Remnants are visible in the landscape with varying levels of degradation. On cropping land the broad cropped areas generally have no grassland species present. However grassy ecosystem species may possibly be retained on rocky patches, steep areas and creek lines.
In pasture, particularly if un-improved, tussocks of native grass may be visible. Often present is a thick growth off wild oats, broad leaf weeds and perennial weed grasses such as Phalaris sp. (phalaris grass), Ehrhata calycina (perennial veldt grass) and Pentameris pallida (pussy tail grass). More components of grassy ecosystem vegetation such as herbs, iron grass and ferns may be evident in rocky areas where they are protected by the rocks from complete grazing.
Different management requirements are needed depending on the remnants present and the management outcomes required by the landholder. Management activities may include woody weed control, weed grass control and short duration rotational grazing. The monitoring of activities can assist to refine management and reduce the risk of further degradation occurring.
Bill New worked closely with the Eastern Hills and Murray Plains Local Action Planning Group, the Bremer Barker Catchment Group and the Native Grass Resources Group to deliver this project.
Further information about grassy ecosystems of the eastern flanks is available in the 2003 report by Randall Johnston available from our Bookshop.
There has also been recent further work in this area through a partnership between NCSSA and Trees for Life in the Rockleigh Revegetation Project and following the fire in 2013/14.