Effects of fire frequency on litter and understorey vegetation dynamics and flammability In montane dry sclerophyll forest – Progress Report

Progress report on the grant:

Dr John Raison supervising project scientist James Hoare

Preliminary findings from this study were reported last year. Detailed analyses have confirmed the conclusions drawn earlier. Fuel biomass and fire risks recover rapidly following prescribed burning in sub-alpine dry eucalypt forests. A careful strategy of rotational prescribed burning is required to gain some fire protection benefit without damage to forest ecology. Regular fire has little impact on understorey species composition because of the dominance of re-sprouting species. However, too frequent burning adversely affects nutrient budgets, and can affect recruitment of fire sensitive snowgum trees.

Final analyses are being completed, and we hope to provide a report to the Australian Flora Foundation by about mid 1998.

Dr John Raison Program Manager, Native Forest Management, CSIRO Forestry & Forest Products, PO Box E4008, KINGSTON ACT 2604