The Coorong-Tatiara district councils employed a research team from Federation University Ballarat to investigate causes of tree decline in the region. We started with a comprehensive review of possible causes of poor tree health in the Coorong-Tatiara district.
The review drew on knowledge from several sources. Local stakeholders helped identify the most pertinent tree decline issues (through a series of meetings and public forums), and from there, we reviewed the published literature on these key tree decline issues.
The report highlights some important gaps in our current understanding of the problem. We know that there are multiple causes of poor tree health, but we currently have no way to measure the extent and severity of different tree decline issues across the region. The logical next step is to find out where sick trees are in the landscape and what might be causing their poor health. This is why we developed the SA Tree Watch website.
The information gathered from the SA Tree Watch website will allow us to develop more strategic plan for managing trees in the region. We will analyse the data for links between symptoms of tree decline and various environmental and management variables. For example, we know that symptoms associated with salinity are more likely to occur in valleys or depressions in the landscape. Other tree decline symptoms may be similarly linked to parameters such as management variables, landscape position, climatic variables, soil type, or tree species. Knowledge of such relationships will be essential for understanding the broader problem. This exercise will allow for more targeted funding of further research into tree decline issues.