Regional and landscape-scale pressures affecting the land environment

Component
Summary
Grade
Very high impact High impact Low impact Very low impact
Confidence
In Grade In Trend
Comparability
To previous years

The incidence of bushfires continues to increase, with more fires and increasing frequency of return. Funding initiatives to support controlled fires earlier in the season, including fires for ecological purposes or Indigenous management practices, may reduce extent and intensity, but may also increase return times in some northern areas. In the south, infrastructure and residential developments continue to complicate fire management opportunities.

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Bushfire is an inherent component of many Australian ecosystems. Fire regimes have a pervasive impact on environmental values. The extent, frequency and intensity of bushfires are expected to increase as temperature increases due to climate change

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Land clearing, although declining, is still a significant cause of environmental disturbance across Australia, particularly in Queensland

Year(s): 
2016
1
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Although land clearing is now balanced by the extent of regrowth, both its immediate and legacy effects continue to threaten environmental values

Year(s): 
2011
1
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Although many of the world’s worst diseases have been excluded from Australia to date, several fungal pathogens continue to have very significant impacts on native flora and fauna, with knock-on effects on native vegetation and managed systems

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Both long-established and newly introduced plant diseases threaten the composition of Australian vegetation communities and the survival of particular species

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

The review of the Australian Pest Animal Strategy and other studies suggest that the challenges and impacts created by pest animals are as pertinent today as they were in 2007 when the strategy was released. We are still facing new incursions of invasive animals, and expansion of the range of existing pest animal species

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Pest animals are widespread; many are well established and difficult to control. New pest species are becoming established

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Expansion of the list of Weeds of National Significance, recognition that some national eradication targets are now unachievable, and an enormous naturalised species pool from which new weeds may emerge as environmental conditions change suggest no diminution of the threat posed to agriculture or the environment

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Weeds are ubiquitous across the Australian landscape, and have major impacts on environmental values

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed
Metcalfe D, Bui E (2016). Land: Regional and landscape-scale pressures affecting the land environment. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/assessment-summary-56-regional-and-landscape-scale-pressures-affecting-land-environment, DOI 10.4226/94/58b6585f94911