This 45 hectare logging coupe in north east Tasmania is situated within the 572,000 hectares of forests that have been proposed for protection by environment groups and is the subject of ongoing negotiations.
Sadly, it remains on the logging schedule for this year. This is a mixed forest with a diversity of species and a diversity of ages. Old eucalypts, some scarred by fire from the distant past, grow beside younger trees.
This forest contains a great diversity of lichen and fungi growing in the natural leaf litter on the forest floor, supporting the biological cycling of nutrients into the soil. Such leaf litter and detritus, and the tiny organisms that exist within them, are often destroyed in the high intensity burns that are conducted by the forestry industry following logging.
Lichen is a symbiotic relationship between fungi and a photosynthetic organism (most commonly algae). These two are co-dependent, the fungi providing water retention, the algae providing nutrients. One type of lichen common in this coupe is called ‘old man’s beard’ or Usnea. It is known to be sensitive to air pollution, which can restrict its growth to a few millimeters. In an environment with clean air it can grow grow to 10–20 cm long.
Please CLICK HERE and take a moment to help defend Tasmania’s forests.
For more information about the ‘A forest a day’ project, which is a collaboration between Huon Valley Environment Centre, Still Wild Still Threatened, The Last Stand, Markets for Change and Code Green, please click HERE.