Monthly Archives: August 2016

DELWP Planned burns – State-wide threat to forest health

Bluff cover picA recently published Government report confirms what many ecologists and rural people have suspected for a long time – planned burning (aka fuel reduction burning) is slowly and surely eliminating hollow-bearing trees (HBTs) from our forests.

Download the 3 MB pdf here.

Having conducted our own post-fire survey of a recent, “successful” planned burn in the Strathbogie Ranges, the results of this more comprehensive DELWP study are of considerable interest.

The DELWP ecological study, published earlier this year, was conducted across numerous sites in East Gippsland and examined in detail the impact of 30 planned burns (p. 17) on HBTs. While the report findings are alarming, the report is timely and provides valuable insight into the impact of planned burns on forest ecology across the State.

The study assessed a large sample of HBTs across burnt and non-burnt areas. “In total, 1575 HBTs were located and had their characteristics assessed in pre-treatment surveys. Of these, 666 were individually revisited in post- treatment surveys, while the remainder were located in plot types where repeat surveys of individual HBTs were not conducted” (p. 25). Continue reading

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Spring Time Awakening

SSFA Lima Falls Walk

Mid-winter fungi surprise

A most unusual cap, or pileus. The flat disc at the cap's apex is most unusual.

The rimmed, flat disc on the cap of this fungus is unusual.

Mid-July might not seem like the best time to see fungi, you’d think. But what a surprise we had when we went back to the same spot that we visited in early June . Certainly, fungi weren’t as obvious this time, but once we started looking carefully, the flood-gates opened.

This time there appeared to be more fungi on dead wood and bark, than during the last visit, though it’s just a feeling. These images are of fungi found fruiting on wood. Click to view the slide show.

The day was chilly, but the sunshine and vibrant colours kept our hearts warm. Here we are preparing for the search amid fallen giants, shadows and lush moss beds. We found a diverse collection of fungi to display on the specimen table. Click to view the slide show. Continue reading