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Forest regeneration after bushfire

Forest regeneration after bushfire

C019/7189

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Credit

DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

A stand of Mountain Ash trees, Eucalyptus regnans along Lady Talbot's Drove, Marysville, Victoria, Australia. E. regnans is a fire-sensitive species; it has thin bark and does not produce a lignotuber ( an underground swollen stem capable of regeneration ). The trees in the picture (now all dead from the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009) are of a uniform age. This is because they arose from seed following an earlier fire - the only way E. regnans can survive such an event. The picture shows vigorous regeneration at understorey level. The majority of the regenerating plants are Acacia species, with comparatively few seedlings of E. regnans ( scattered, with leaves with more brown/red hues ). This suggests that at the time of the 2009 fires, the (here dead) trees were not sufficiently mature to have produced a large seed inoculum.

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