Outcomes

Toward Sustainable Landscapes: Phosphorus Management to Protect Wetlands

Greening Australia
University of Western Australia

Wetlands

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The project aims to improve knowledge of soil nutrient and hydrological processes in key landscape types, and how these impact plant growth and the uptake of phosphorus. Researchers will develop management tools for farmers, as well as tools that the local government can incorporate into future planning, to ensure continued sustainable management of the area. The primary results of absorbing excess phosphorous through land use changes will be significant reductions in nutrient loss from farms and increased abundance in birds and other animal species.

The implications of this important sustainable land use study will be widespread. In Western Australia, region-wide adoption of the tools and innovative land use techniques developed through this research project could result in significant reductions of the movement of phosphorous into waterways throughout the Peel-Harvey catchment. Engaging and educating local stakeholders may make future legislative change more readily acceptable to the agricultural communities of the area. Because such future legislation might include restrictions on the use of commodities such as fertilizer and water, a constituent base that is knowledgeable about the perils of agricultural run-off would more likely support conservation measures that are likely to benefit their communities. In the long term, researchers expect the study to be used to devise landuse policies, planning tools and management practices that contribute to sustainable management of the Peel-Harvey catchment.

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