Interactions between fire and woody legumes

The PhD work of Valerie Densmore explored how woody legumes, typified by wattles, can play a central role in restoring ecosystems following bushfires. She showed that when their seeds are exposed to heat they germinate quickly, helping to stabilise soil and return nitrogen to the system. The knowledge gained from her research is important to predicting ecosystem resilience and fuel recovery following fire. 

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Valerie is a Bushfire CRC PhD student at the University of Sydney studying the interactions between fire and woody legumes in Australian south-eastern forests.