In the Spring time last year this site posted an article on the damage to Wattles that Fireblight Beetle can cause, where thick regrowth of Black Wattle had been completely defoliated by these beetles and their larvae.
Over Summer the Fireblight Beetles have gone to ground and the Wattles have staged a dramatic comeback, with virtually all the wattles that looked dead and gone re-sprouting with fresh new growth along with new seeds germinating. Surely there will be another dramatic change later in the year in the cooler months when the Beetles become active and the Black Wattles will cop another attack. The whole process of the Wattles losing their foliage in spring would benefit other native plants that are fighting for space and light.
The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is one species that has recovered quickly after the fires. With their ability to move quickly they had more chance of escaping the fire front and are also able to recolonise areas quickly. The open canopy after the fire provided the opportunity for fresh green grasses and herbs to grow which is the Kangaroos preferred diet.
Planning to get the most efficient use of your weed control resources following a busfire is vital. Here are some tips.
Target species that are likely to remain a major problem even when your bushland and pastures have recovered. e.g. Blackberries and Ragwort. Annual weeds like milk thistles and capeweed should not be a significant issue down the track as they are shaded out and outcompeted by native vegetation growth or well managed pastures.
The first priority for best use of your time and resources should be to maintain your areas that are free of your target species or have the lowest infestations of weeds. i.e. This should mean these areas remain easy to manage and do not become a problem area in the future.
Working to reduce the cover of larger infestations needs to be done stratetigically. Make a plan and work away at the edges of the affected sites over time.
Avoid ground disturbance as much as possible as this will create ideal opportunites for further weed infestations to occur.
Consider planting problem sites like gullies and waterways with native vegetation that will eventually provide competition and outgrow the weeds. Seek advice from Landcare about funding opportunites for projects and for information on what species to grow.
Mapping the weeds you need to control (A GPS can help with this) can help when planning your weed management as well as way to monitor your progress. You could also set up photopoints to get a visual record of how your weed management is progressing.
Prevention is better than the cure – Monitor carefully for new outbreaks of weeds especially in places such as, stock camps, drainage lines and sites where introduced fodder has been spread.
Brunonia australis is a small groundcover herb which has attractive bright blue flowers. It is one species (amongst a number of others) which have taken advantage of reduced competition and increased sunlight to flower and produce lots of seed since the fire. It is found mainly in less fertile (sandy soils) in the Lowland Forest EVC.