Fire Note 78: Eucalypt dieback is widespread throughout Australia affecting many forests that are utilised for wood resources or are protected for conservation. The causes of eucalypt dieback are currently unknown but may be related to altered fire regimes and associated changes in the ecosystem, such as altered relationships with beneficial mycorrhizal fungi, which were investigated in this study.
The effect of bushfire on Sydney’s water catchments was investigated in a PhD study from Jessica Heath (University of Sydney). Her work showed that the pre‐bushfire models used had predicted the post‐bushfire models well, and that bushfire had no obvious effect on water yield within the Sydney drinking water supply catchments.
Felipe Aires investigated the leaf traits and combustion features of invasive woody plants in forests of eastern Australia, focusing particularly on olives. His research will help decision makers take the right course of action when fighting fires in invaded areas.
This project is evaluating the suitability of pasture growth models for assessing current and predicting future levels of grassland curing. A glasshouse trial was undertaken to provide data to better define grass plant senescence, particularly leaf turnover, within these models. A further trial investigated the effect of water stress on the onset and duration of senescence in four representative grassland species.
Field assessment of leaf turnover and curing in representative grassland types was undertaken to validate glasshouse work.