Wilsons Promontory provides an example of how repeated short interval fires can prevent the regeneration of a Eucalyptus canopy in a range of ecological vegetation classes. The ‘destocking’ of forests can dramatically alter the composition, structure, and function compared to forests with a eucalypt overstorey. The planned restoration trial for one of these sites in Wilsons Promontory provides an opportunity to gain important data on several aspects relating to ecological restoration in National Park landscapes.
The need to have data underpinning ecological restoration will increase in relevance for land managers, given that decreasing fire return intervals associated with climate change means greater areas of the landscape may be at risk of becoming destocked forests.
Given elevated risk of fire in the future, understanding flammability of destocked forests and restoration approaches is key. This study will assist in making informed decisions on how destocked forests contribute to landscape flammability and the costs and benefits of restoring them in social ecological systems like National Parks.
Project timeline: 12/2021 – 12/2024