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A comparison of oldgrowth mixed forest with regeneration resulting from logging or wildfire


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Hickey, J 1993 , 'A comparison of oldgrowth mixed forest with regeneration resulting from logging or wildfire', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Up to 194,000 ha, or 20 percent, of Tasmania's wet eucalypt forest is mature mixed
forest greater than 110 years old. At least 33 percent of the mixed forest is reserved in
the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TVVWHA) or in State and Forest
Reserves outside the TWWHA. Almost half the area of mixed forest with a mature
myrtle understorey has a eucalypt density of only 5-20 percent which implies that it is in
the last successional stage prior to becoming rainforest.
A comparison of the floristics of 20-30-year-old silvicultural and wildfire regeneration with
oldgrowth mixed forest showed that species richness for all lifeforms other than epiphytic
ferns was greater in regenerated forest than in oldgrowth mixed forest. Most of the
common species in oldgrowth mixed forest were represented in approximately similar
frequencies in silvicultural and wildfire regeneration. The major floristic difference
between the two regeneration types was the much lower frequency of epiphytic fern
species in silvicultural regeneration. The floristic composition of oldgrowth mixed forest
is profoundly influenced by either wildfire or clearfelling and slash burning but the
composition of the regeneration is more influenced by environmental variables than by
the nature of the disturbance which initiated the regeneration.
Comparisons indicated only slight differences in growth and density of tree and tall shrub
species between silvicultural and wildfire regeneration. Growth of rainforest tree species
in young regenerated stands was very slow due, apparently, to suppression by a dense
layer of taller sclerophyllous trees and shrubs. The density of most rainforest tree
species was lower in regenerated sites than in oldgrowth mixed forest but there was no
significant difference between logged and wildfire sites. The density of common
rainforest shrub species was similar in all three site types.
Several rainforest species with short seed dispersal distances can regenerate
vegetatively after fire. There was no difference between silvicultural and wildfire
regeneration in the amount of vegetative regeneration of rainforest canopy species.
Basal sprouting of rainforest canopy species occurred in the first year following
disturbance but seedlings took several years to become established. No significant
differences were found in seedling establishment time of rainforest canopy species. Five
woody rainforest species regenerated from soil seed banks and included two species
which took more than one year to germinate. The species similarity between oldgrowth
mixed forest stands and their soil seed banks was low.

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Hickey, J
Keywords: Reforestation, Eucalyptus, Forests and forestry
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1993 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 133-141). Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Tasmania, 1994

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