Bushfire Impact Rehabilitation Plan for Warm Temperate Rainforest

Category
Project

EcoFutures and Alluvium ecologists together with Pathways Bushland & Environment were engaged by Parks Victoria to develop a vegetation rehabilitation plan to address bushfire impacts at Morwell National Park focused on Warm Temeprate Rainforest.

We conducted a desktop review and a targeted field assessment over 2 days in late May 2021 to establish impacts of fire and fire control lines on vegetation, current trajectories of recovery and other factors impacting regeneration. We then used this information to develop the bushfire impact rehabilitation plan. The plan incorporates an inventory of values and threats, recommendations to address threats and descriptions of monitoring methods to inform adaptive management. Broader management responses within the park and beyond the area impacted by the fires of 2019 that may provide resilience against future disturbance are also described.

The plan details an applied strategy to enable ongoing recruitment of indigenous plant species in areas disturbed by the construction of control lines to protect remnant and regenerating Warm Temperate Rainforest (WTR) and ecotones of WTR. It also proposes adaptive management of erosion at two key locations resulting from the construction of fire control lines; and the protection of juvenile rainforest tree species from deer and control of high priority exotic species over a five-year period in extant WTR not impacted by fire or control line activities.

This project also re-mapped the boundary of WTR at two locations and compares these to modelled EVC boundaries for WTR. A monitoring method to track the progress of vegetation regeneration and assess the need for erosion mitigation, weed control and replanting is proposed for each management zone.

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