Tropical Grasslands (1991) Volume 25, 85–90

Sustaining productive pastures in the tropics
2. Managing woody vegetation in grazing lands


1Department of Primary Industries, Charters Towers and
2Department of Lands, Charters Towers; Queensland, Australia and;


There has been a lot of interest in northern Australia recently in terms of our woodland resources: we still have trees whereas widespread clearing of native vegetation has occurred in southern Australia and overseas.
The impact of native and exotic woody plants on understorey vegetation, cattle production and soils are discussed. The spread of introduced woody weeds is a major concern in many areas, with leguminous trees and shrubs being a serious threat to millions of hectares of natural grasslands.
More research is required into herbaceous responses to clearing woody plant populations, and the associated impacts on subsequent woody plant dynamics, landscape hydrology and wildlife populations. Coordination between government departments is required to develop appropriate clearing guidelines (for both native and introduced woody plants). More emphasis should be placed on cattle and land management following any woody plant removal. Lack of appropriate management is a major cause of degradation in cleared woodlands, and that is often attributed to the clearing itself.

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