Bush regeneration is active restoration of natural ecosystems which have been degraded by some form of human intervention. This is usually carried out in a methodical process that involves removal or reduction of threatening factors, which them allows native species in the ecosystem to thrive.
In extreme cases, active replanting can be done, following a strict set of techniques recommended by environmental experts and bush regenerators. Below are some forms of threats/degradation which can be corrected by bush regeneration:
Proliferation of weeds in an area can out-compete and displace indigenous plant species. Weeds compete for limited nutrients and light, and being more hardy than some native species, can thrive better in limiting conditions and alter soil conditions. This in turn can hinder indigenous plants from being able to utilize nutrients in the soil, causing them to die off. Some weeds can also be toxic to animals and cause allergic reactions/irritation to humans. These are the target of bush regeneration through the Bradley method, which involves proactive weed control to allow native species to re-emerge.
As the name suggests, this is degradation as a result of land clearing for development, commonly in urban areas. Fragmentation involves reduction of vegetation to disjointed patches, which are then affected by weed invasion, alteration of microclimatic conditions, destruction of symbiotic relationships, reduction of genetic biodiversity and reduced pollination among others.
These in combination can affect the remaining vegetation's resilience and ability to adapt to environmental changes. It can also cause interruption in wildlife corridors through which native animal species travelled or sought refuge, placing them at greater risk of predator attack or endangerment/extinction.
Overgrazing can be done by humans with their livestock, or by indigenous wildlife species within an ecosystem. The latter commonly happens following fragmentation, where the same number of animal species is left with a smaller area to depend on for food. Overgrazing and subsequent trampling can leave bare patches that are more prone to erosion and weed growth, further reducing the remaining flora's survival chances.
Modern practices in bush regeneration aim at alleviating effects of overgrazing and fragmentation while causing minimal disturbance to remaining native flora. This may be done through weed control/removal, reduction of animal populations and/or active replanting of native species to restore ecological balance.
Fires and flooding
Floods and high-speeds runoffs can erode nutrient-rich top soils causing native plant health to decline. In addition, flooding can cause proliferation of weeds by carrying weed seeds a greater distance into the habitat. Fire, on the other hand, alters the composition of species in the site, causes unnatural landscape changes and opens up large areas for weed invasion. All these can be controlled through active bush remediation following these disasters to reduce the interruption to normal flora and restore ecological balance.