The process and pattern of eucalypt forest decline in the absence of fire

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Fire Note 79: Vic Jurskis and Todd Walmsley of Forests NSW collected information about  declining eucalypt stands in coastal New South Wales from the Queensland border to the Victorian border.

"Declining stands are found in areas of poorly drained or aerated soils, with pronounced changes in soil chemistry and challenged tree roots," writes Vic Jurskis in his Fire Note.  "Particular eucalypt species are associated with particular affected soils, meaning information about geology, landform and type of forest can be used to identify eucalypt forests with a predisposition to decline if managed inappropriately."

The patterns and processes described in the Fire Note are in agreement with studies conducted in Tasmania, Western Australia and elsewhere around the globe on the causes of tree decline, Vic Jurskis adds.

"These studies show the importance of prescribed burning on the nutrition and health of forests and that nutrient cycles should be an important consideration in planning a healthy fire regime."

This fire note is a companion to Fire Note 77 of May 2011, Fire Note 37 of September 2009 and Fire Note 13 of July 2007.

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