Yesterday we had our biannual photo-monitoring session, so this one is very up to date. We got on to this site a bit late (over a year after the fire) but we were intrigued with the mass regeneration of Eucalyptus seedlings (probably Mountain Ash) on the site and figured it would be good to record what happens to them over time. You can see in the early photos the shape of the slope, the dead trees and the mass of green that is the newly germinated plants. Now the shrubs in the foreground have grown and blocked our view, which seems to be a common issue with photo-monitoring but we will still keep tabs on the site and its future development.
Another series of photos, showing the recovery of burnt vegetation over time, this site is on an exposed north facing ridge, where the fire was fairly intense. Some sections of the burnt areas along the Grand Ridge Rd had trees that were mature enough to release lots of seeds and in those spots there has been thick Eucalyptus regeneration. Another large area further west was formerly fully cleared land, which had been replanted with Mountain Ash in the early 1990’s unfortunately these trees had not reached adulthood, which meant that the Mountain Ash, (which cannot re-sprout after a fire like other Eucalyptus species) were all killed; no seed to release meant that no new trees germinated after the fires only understorey. Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park have just received a Communities For Nature grant to re-establish canopy trees at this site.
Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park began a Photo-monitoring project back in 2007 as a way of using images to keep a record of the changes in vegetation in the park, especially in spots that were regenerating or likely to be impacted by disturbance (Such as timber harvesting in land adjacent to the park). The most interesting photo-points in the short term at least have been sites impacted in the 2009 fires. Here is a time-lapse video showing the progress of recovery from a site along Bulga Park Rd, just South of Balook. The vegetation type is Wet Forest.