It’s the end of the year as we know it…


.The view from Bush Heritage Australia’s superb Nardoo Hills Reserve near Inglewood in western Victoria.
[This picture looks awesome if you click on it to make it larger and then keep zooming in]

Dear readers, thanks once again for supporting another year of ecology blogs. I’ve been consumed with writing talks and papers this month, which is why I’ve posted just one, rather rushed, blog in December. If you’ve been hanging out for yet another enthralling, wise, perceptive, entertaining essay this month, my apologies. Hopefully I can make up for it next year.

To end the year, I’ve compiled some of my best photos from 2012. A cheap Christmas stocking filler I know (and no where near the quality of others), but I’ll kick off the new year with a return to essay writing in January. Meanwhile, I’m very grateful to those of you who regularly read my blogs, send in comments and share links on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other sites. Please come back next year.

I hope you all have a wonderful break over Christmas and the New Year, and a fulfilling and uplifting year in 2013. Best wishes Ian.


Storm-damaged Ironbark

A storm-damaged old Ironbark at Dalyenong Nature Reserve.


Tags Last Forever

Electrician’s tape lasts forever. A plot tag I put out in 1996 still marks a transect at Ocean Grove, 16 years later.


Fenced Plot

A fence is worth a thousand words. Exotic Wild Oats dominate inside a burnt plot while native Wallaby-grasses clothe the burnt and grazed area outside. One of Mark Tscharke’s fantastic restoration plots at Terrick Terrick National Park.


Manna Gum Woodland

Unburnt Manna Gum woodland at Inverleigh Nature Conservation Reserve, in western Victoria. Elsewhere in the reserve, the native Hedge Wattle has transformed grassy woodlands like this to a dense, shrubby understorey.


Post-fire Hedge wattle

Hedge Wattle regenerates densely beneath fire-killed and resprouting Manna Gums at Inverleigh. This area originally looked like the open woodland above, but will soon be an impenetrable shrubland.


Gnarled Old Tree

Old trees can look really weird. Gnarled boughs on an old Manna Gum at Inverleigh.


Old-growth Ironbark

Tree creeper heaven. Deep furrowed bark on one of Dalyenong’s ancient Ironbarks.


Faces in the Trees

Old trees don’t get much weirder than this! Merry Christmas from beautiful old Saint Nick.



2 thoughts on “It’s the end of the year as we know it…

  1. Hi Ian

    Thanks for all of your interesting postings. I have really enjoyed reading most of them.

    I was interested in the photos of the Inverleigh site with the Acacia regeneration and tried to look up that particular blog but I obviously do not have the skills as I kept going back to the two images on todays site. I am particularly interested because I spend a bit of time in the Wannon reserve near Hamilton which has quite a few Acacia paradoxa and a large range of other species including some weed acacia species which we have been working to remove growing there. It is really very beautiful and biologically diverse. Also the disused rail reserve between Hamilton and Coleraine has a few Acacia paradoxa and many other species including weed acacias. There is quite a lot of pressure from some people to start burning these areas. My response and concern when asked about commencing a burning regime is that I feel it is likely to create thickets of acacias but I did not have evidence to back this up.

    If you are able to forward me more information about the Inverleigh or other relevant sites I would appreciate it.

    Once again thanks for your posting and also for introducing me to some other bloggers.

    Best wishes for Christmas and 2013

    Liz Fenton

    • Hello Liz, thank you very much for taking the time to send a comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the blogs. The inverleigh link should have taken you to this blog which I wrote earlier in the year. The blog contains a link to a paper by Franco and Morgan that you might find useful.

      Many Acacias can generate very large soil seed banks which can germinate en masse after a fire, as in the photo above. Hence your concerns are very valid. Since most wattles don’t resprout, two fires in short succession may greatly reduce populations, if that is desired, although its often hard to get enough fuel to carry a second fire before the wattles set seed. That’s the case at Inverleigh, for example, where the main fuel source in the burnt area is the acacia itself.

      Thanks again, and best wishes for 2013, Ian

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