Woodlands on TV!

It was both an education and a blast to spend two days filming a 5 minute segment on our research for the ABC’s TV science show Catalyst late last year. The show was aired this week. If you’re interested, you can download a copy of the clip (in MP4 or WMV  format) from the ABC’s web site.

Suzanne collects a soil sample

The show features endangered grassy white box woodlands, and the research that Suzanne Prober, Ian Cole and I have been doing to work out how to restore degraded woodland understoreys. The show’s title, “Sweet Solution for Woodlands” refers to using sugar to reduce available soil nutrients to control weeds in the short term.

Presenter Tanya Ha at Mundawaddery Cemetery

Unfortunately, the film crew visited in early spring, which was too early to see a great wildflower display in the remnant woodland at Mundawaddery Cemetery. Nevertheless, the editors at the ABC did an amazing job with the few plants at hand. I hope you enjoy our phenomenal acting abilities!

You can read a number of my earlier blogs on this project at the Projects/Restore link in the toolbar above, and in the list below.

Tanya and Suzanne inspect the experimental plots
Preparing to film a long ‘speech’

Related Blogs

Related Papers

Prober SM, Thiele KR, Lunt ID & Koen TB (2005). Restoring ecological function in temperate grassy woodlands: manipulating soil nutrients, exotic annuals and native perennial grasses through carbon supplements and spring burns. Journal of Applied Ecology 42, 1073-1085.

Prober, S.M. & Lunt, I.D. (2009). Restoration of Themeda australis swards suppresses soil nitrate and enhances ecological resistance to invasion by exotic annuals. Biological Invasions, 11(2), 171-181.

2 thoughts

  1. Hi Ian, thanks for the link – would have missed it otherwise. Just viewed the clip- well done and a good story. I might try it on some small patches of Holcus lanatus that is invading some of out remnant grassland in paddocks. Any advice? Bert.

  2. Hello Bert, thanks for your comment. I don’t know how tolerant or intolerant Holcus is of low nutrient levels. Sugar will only work well on species that grow vigorously at high nutrient levels, and that stay very small and stunted at low nutrient levels. It shall be interesting to see how Holcus responds. It’s important to make sure that sugar is never applied near waterways too. Best wishes with your trials, Ian

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