Plains mallee box woodlands of the Murray Darling Depression, Riverina and Naracoorte Coastal Plain Bioregions ecological community includes plants, animals and other organisms associated with types of mallee woodlands that are found in south-west New South Wales, north-west Victoria, and south-east South Australia.
Plains mallee box woodlands of the Murray Darling Depression, Riverina and Naracoorte Coastal Plain Bioregions
Status: Critically Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Conservation Advice for the Plains mallee box woodlands of the Murray Darling Depression, Riverina and Naracoorte Coastal Plain Bioregions
Climate change and Timing Climate change projections are available for the Murray Basin severe weather ongoing that covers the entire MDD and Riverina bioregions plus some Severity adjoining areas (Timbal et al.; 2015).
Plains mallee box woodlands of the Murray Darling Depression; Riverina and Naracoorte Coastal Plain Bioregions Threat factor Threat status Evidence base It is likely that changing climatic conditions will compound the negative effects of existing threats including habitat loss and fragmentation; invasive species and broad scale bushfires (DSE 2008).
Ecological conditions for plant communities in the Mallee are predicted to experience substantial change; by as much as 70 . 12 There is a high probability that climate change will constrain the regenerative capacity of remnant ecological communities.
Smaller scale clearing and tidying of bushland along roadsides and around houses; buildings and other infrastructure; including for fuel reduction purposes; adds to this threat.
Natural fire regimes may be altered such that some areas (e.g. roadsides) burn frequently due to increased ignitions from human sources.
Introduction of fire without effective pest control may allow rabbits and hares to negatively impact the lower strata by leaving regenerating seedlings exposed (Macaulay 2006) and feral predators to increasingly impact on fauna.
The forecast over the major next century is for higher temperatures (including more Scope frequent extreme maxima on consecutive days); declining whole rainfall (including more extended dry spells); especially in the cooler seasons; and harsher drought; heat waves and fire weather.
Engage and liaise with landholders; NRM and community groups; Traditional Owners Custodians and governments to support and undertake and promote programs that ameliorate threats such as grazing; altered fire regimes and human disturbance.
Use a landscape scale approach and available local knowledge on fire histories to identify sites that would benefit from reinstating appropriate fire frequency to prevent further declines of patches affected by either low or high fire frequency o For areas of the community subject to low fire frequency; identify opportunities for applying appropriate ecological burns; including with traditional knowledge and practices.
The nature of the current distribution makes it very susceptible to edge effects and to the actions of various threats; particularly understorey disturbance (e.g. grazing; aeolian deposition); invasive species; altered fire regimes; further fragmentation and cumulative loss of patches.