Tropical Grasslands (1994) Volume 28, 223228
State and transition models for rangelands.
A.J. ASH1, L.A. BELLAMY2 and T.G.H. STOCKWELL3
1Division of Tropical Crops and Pastures, CSIRO, Townsville, and
Historically, there has been no widely used or accepted system for assessing the condition of rangelands in northern Australia. Consequently, there is a generally poor understanding of vegetation change and its consequences for longterm productivity and stability in the northern Australian pastoral industry. The state and transition approach to understanding vegetation dynamics has recently been put to use in the northern rangelands as a communication tool and for identifying gaps in knowledge in research. State and transition models are also being used in an integrated computer-based system to assess the spatial variability in the condition of grazing lands and then to evaluate the implications (environmental and economic) of the outcomes of alternative management scenarios. If state and transition models are to be used more effectively in the management of extensive grazing lands, the question of paddock heterogeneity and uneven grazing distribution needs to be addressed.