Fire in Tall Wet Forests
The tall wet forests of Victoria have been involved in most of the state’s major wildfires. These forests present a key management challenge as they are subject to infrequent high-intensity fire that can burn thousands of hectares in a single afternoon. This project aims to quantify relationships between aspects of the fire regime, forest structure, and the distribution, abundance and behaviour of animals. Major sub-projects include:
Age class optimisation and scenario testing
We will determine the relative proportions of post-fire vegetation age classes that maximise species diversity in wet forest. This will allow us to predict the risk to biodiversity and resilience associated with different fire management scenarios.
Edge effects in fire prone landscapes
Edges, boundaries and ecotones are common in flammable systems but their effect on animal movement and habitat selection have rarely been studied. This project forms Kate Parkins's PhD, and seeks to address these knowledge gaps by quantifying the ecological importance of fire-related edge effects, and how these edges influence the distribution, abundance and movement of fauna in flammable landscapes.
Please contact Matt for further information about the project.
This work is undertaken in partnership with the University of Melbourne's Bushfire Behaviour and Management Group and DELWP, and is also supported by the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment.