Overview of resilience of land


Resilient land should be able to recover from changes, and continue to support native vegetation and natural processes, as well as allow us to use natural resources within reasonable limits.

Resilience of the terrestrial environment is greatest in areas where vegetation is largely intact, or where extensive patches of largely intact native vegetation are continuous or at least contiguous, so that connectivity is maintained between them for the movement of animals, seeds and pollen. Managers of both public and private land in Australia are improving their understanding of how to retain resilience, and recognising that this sometimes requires active rehabilitation of landscapes or communities.

It is not known to what extent the resilience of natural and agricultural soils is mediated by microbes, or whether the current degradation of soil microbial communities is ongoing or especially threatened by climate change. Although understanding of the physical and chemical nature of our soils and their distribution is good, the understanding of soil biology and the function of the soil microbial communities, in particular, is poor.

Jackson WJ, Argent RM, Bax NJ, Bui E, Clark GF, Coleman S, Cresswell ID, Emmerson KM, Evans K, Hibberd MF, Johnston EL, Keywood MD, Klekociuk A, Mackay R, Metcalfe D, Murphy H, Rankin A, Smith DC, Wienecke B (2016). Overview: Overview of resilience of land. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/overview/land/topic/overview-resilience-land, DOI 10.4226/94/58b65510c633b