Inbox and environment news: Issue 531
March 20 - 26, 2022: Issue 531
Newport SLSC Youngsters Take 3 For The Sea
Save Australia's Wildlife Group Make Whopping Donation Towards Saving Local Wallabies
Fauna Fences Down On Wakehurst Parkway: Please Drive Carefully Until They Are Restored
The Green Green Grass Of Des Creagh Reserve Avalon Beach
Weeds Strangling Trees At Governor Phillip Park Still Not Cleared; Banksias Now Dying
photo taken this week shows banksias are now submerged in weeds and beginning to die off - visit: $198,859 Allocated To Council For Weed Control - Governor Phillip Park Misses Out (and other much needed areas) - February 13, 2022
Careel Creek Still Flooded But Moorhens-Ducks Ok
Newport Pool Cliff Face Risk: New Film From John Illingsworth
Published March 15, 2022
John Illingsworth: Recent rain has further destabilised this cliff-collapse and landslide hotspot. When the beach is washed away like this, if you use the access track at the foot of the cliff your life may be at significant risk. Here is why.
NSW Landcare And Local Land Services Conference 2022 + 2021 NSW Landcare Awards Finalists And Winners
- Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award
- Australian Government Partnerships for Landcare Award
- Australian Government Landcare Farming Award
- Coastcare Award
- Landcare Community Group Award
- Woolworths Junior Landcare Team Award
- KPMG Indigenous Land Management Award
- Young Landcare Leadership Award.
- Julie Holstegge
- Marg Bull
- Winsome Lambkin
- Sydney Wildlife (Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services)
- Australian Association of Bush Regenerators-AABR
- The Protecting Little Llangothlin (RAMSAR) for Future Generation Project
- Martin Royds
- Stuart Austin
- Graham Strong
- Budgewoi Beach Dunecare
- Lennox Head Landcare
- Upper Lachlan Landcare Grazing Group
- Mulgoa Valley Landcare Inc.
- Upper Mooki Landcare Inc
- Bexhill Public School
- Ivanhoe Central School
- Grose View Public School
- Nari Nari Tribal Council
- Hunter Aboriginal Riverkeeper Team (H.A.R.T)
- Joel Orchard, Young Farmers Connect
- Gabrielle Stacey, Fern Creek Landcare
- Elisha Duxbury Macquarie University & Greater Sydney Landcare Network
- Brian Hilton
- Deb Tkachenko
- Louise Turner Western Landcare NSW
The Sydney Edible Garden Trail 2022: March 26-27 - Local Sites
Peek inside some of Sydney’s private backyard fruit and veggie gardens this March, and discover their secrets to living sustainably.
Whether you’re a new or experienced gardener, the best way to learn how to grow juicy fruit and vegetables in your own backyard is to talk to a gardener who’s already doing it. Sydneysiders will have the opportunity to do this over the weekend of 26 & 27 March 2022 when over 50 suburban, community and school gardens will open for the Sydney Edible Garden Trail (SEGT).
Matthew Elphick, one of the garden hosts who participated last year, was inspired to reopen his garden again this year. He’s looking forward to the 2022 trail, saying “It was so wonderful to open last year and have people come through the garden and see how excited they are. You get to see the garden through their eyes, things that you don’t think much about, they find amazing. It’s such a great opportunity to meet like-minded people.”
With the motto “We don’t just grow food, we grow sustainable communities”, SEGT arranges for gardens to open to the public and allocates profits from ticket sales towards building stronger community and school gardens through a grants program with 8 gardens provided with grants in 2021.
This year the trail is extending to the wider Sydney metropolitan area with many new gardens included. Tickets are now on sale at https://sydneyediblegardentrail.com/tickets/
Those in our area listed so far for the 2022 edition of SEGT include:
Newport Community Garden
We are a membership based Community Garden of local neighbours who get together to learn about organic gardening, sustainable living, socialise and have a good time!
NCG has been running for over 8 years and from humble beginnings is now a vibrant, sustainable and inviting space with over 35 garden beds, compost bays, worms farms and native bee hive, green house, water tanks and garden shed.
We grow organic fruits, vegetable and herbs. We cultivate our compost, make our own natural pesticides and grow from seeds saved from our seasonal harvest.
It’s not just hard work, we are very social too and always finish the day with a cuppa and chat with local community members.
In November 2021 Newport Community Garden were announced as one of fifty SEGT GRANT RECIPIENTS 2021.
The grant will be used to attract local birdlife and bees by planting some native bush food plants and others native plants.
Newport Community Garden Profile of the Week
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” - Alfred Austin
Great reuse of an old boat in the Newport Community Garden
Local Wildlife Rescuers And Carers State That Ongoing Heavy Rains Are Tough For Us But Can Be Tougher For Our Wildlife:
- Birds and possums can be washed out of trees, or the tree comes down, nests can disintegrate or hollows fill with water
- Ground dwelling animals can be flooded out of their burrows or hiding places and they need to seek higher ground
- They are at risk crossing roads as people can't see them and sudden braking causes accidents
- The food may disappear - insects, seeds and pollens are washed away, nectar is diluted and animals can be starving
- They are vulnerable in open areas to predators, including our pets
- They can't dry out and may get hypothermia or pneumonia
- Animals may seek shelter in your home or garage.
You can help by:
- Keeping your pets indoors
- Assessing for wounds or parasites
- Putting out towels or shelters like boxes to provide a place to hide
- Drive to conditions and call a rescue group if you see an animal hit (or do a pouch check or get to a vet if you can stop)
- If you are concerned take a photo and talk to a rescue group or wildlife carer
There are 2 rescue groups in the Northern Beaches:
Sydney Wildlife: 9413 4300
WIRES: 1300 094 737
Please be patient as there could be a few enquiries regarding the wildlife.
Generally Sydney Wildlife do not recommend offering food but it may help in some cases. Please ensure you know what they generally eat and any offerings will not make them sick. You can read more on feeding wildlife here
Information courtesy Ed Laginestra, Sydney Wildlife volunteer. Photo: from Esther Andrews.
Aviaries + Possum Release Sites Needed
Asparagus Fern Flowering Now: Dispose Of This Weed To Stop The Spread
Sydney Wildlife Rescue: Helpers Needed
Corroboree Frogs Return Home
After The Fires: Popular Blue Mountains Sites Reopen
Floodplain Development Manual Update: Feedback Until April 4
- Lessons learned from previous floods and the application of a flood risk management process and manual since 2005.
- A range of work on managing natural hazards across government, including relevant national and international frameworks, strategies, and best practice guidance.
- A Flood Risk Management Manual.
- A range of new flood risk management guides for the Flood Risk Management Toolkit.
The Big Switch With Saul Griffith: Electrify Everything!
Bushcare In Pittwater
Where we work Which day What time
Angophora Reserve 3rd Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Dunes 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Avalon Golf Course 2nd Wednesday 3 - 5:30pm
Careel Creek 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Toongari Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer)
Bangalley Headland 2nd Sunday 9 to 12noon
Winnererremy Bay 4th Sunday 9 to 12noon
North Bilgola Beach 3rd Monday 9 - 12noon
Algona Reserve 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Plateau Park 1st Friday 8:30 - 11:30am
Browns Bay Reserve 1st Tuesday 9 - 12noon
McCarrs Creek Reserve Contact Bushcare Officer To be confirmed
Old Wharf Reserve 3rd Saturday 8 - 11am
Kundibah Reserve 4th Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Mona Vale Beach Basin 1st Saturday 8 - 11am
Mona Vale Dunes 2nd Saturday +3rd Thursday 8:30 - 11:30am
Bungan Beach 4th Sunday 9 - 12noon
Crescent Reserve 3rd Sunday 9 - 12noon
North Newport Beach 4th Saturday 8:30 - 11:30am
Porter Reserve 2nd Saturday 8 - 11am
Irrawong Reserve 2nd Saturday 2 - 5pm
North Palm Beach Dunes 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Catherine Park 2nd Sunday 10 - 12:30pm
Elizabeth Park 1st Saturday 9 - 12noon
Pathilda Reserve 3rd Saturday 9 - 12noon
Warriewood Wetlands 1st Sunday 8:30 - 11:30am
Norma Park 1st Friday 9 - 12noon
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay 2nd Sunday 10 - 1pm
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay 1st Monday 9 - 12noon
Gardens And Environment Groups And Organisations In Pittwater
Surfing Towards Coastal Ecosystem Protection
March 14, 2022
Scientists at the University of Portsmouth believe a strategy used to protect popular surfing spots could now be more widely adopted to help preserve endangered coastal environments. A new research paper, published this week in Trends in Ecology & Evolution, says, 'wave reserves', initially aimed at protecting treasured surf spots, are also a way to ensure the conservation of ecologically valuable coastal areas.
The concept of wave reserves has gained popularity over the past few decades. The first wave reserve was established in Bells Beach, Australia in 1973 by surfers keen to defend their prized waves from damaging human activity. But it is especially since the beginning of the 2000s that the surfing community has established dozens of wave reserves around the world.
Waves can be affected by any number of factors such as the dredging of the seabed, building of dykes, changes in sediment regime and ocean acidification. The strategy has been so successful that in some locations there are now several large wave reserves being planned, with support from international NGOs such as Save The Waves.
The research from the University of Portsmouth finds this approach could help low and middle-income countries achieve global sustainability goals. Waves are not just important to surfers, they are also a vital part of the marine ecosystem. Waves play an active role in the gas exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere and in the movement of sediments. They also provide a favourable living environment for many aquatic species.
During the last 20 years the creation of wave reserves as a measure to preserve sports and recreational activities has aligned with initiatives to conserve the coastal environment. What is emerging is a win-win situation.
Academics believe a desire for corporations to put money behind surfing projects could also be a useful funding stream that benefits the coastal environment. The growing surf market, and its adoption as an Olympic sport could help generate significant revenues for conservation.
Gregoire Touron-Gardic, from the Centre for Blue Governance at the University of Portsmouth, says: "What is new and exciting -- in addition to seeing increasingly large reserves and with legal protection statuses -- is the private sector is now interested in wave reserve projects. We are now seeing sports, cosmetics and drinks brands finance international ocean conservation programs. Brands wish to be associated with responsible ecological and social projects, whilst benefiting from the image of surfing."
Touron-Gardic predicts wave reserves will become a popular tool of coastal conservation in countries recognised as surfing destinations, such as the Maldives, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Fiji and Chile. The reserves make it possible to combine preservation of the coastal environment, local economic prosperity and human well-being.
Professor Pierre Failler, Director of the Centre for Blue Governance, University of Portsmouth says, "The potential impact of wave reserves on the future of sustainable ocean management is huge. Wave reserves can become the foundation for an environmental approach to sport tourism. When large enough, wave reserves will allow low- and middle-income countries to increase their relatively weak area-based conservation systems at a lower cost, and therefore progress in achieving their international commitments such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Professor Failler, who is also UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance, says: "It is achievable and accessible initiatives like these that will help improve the governance of the world's oceans. There are many challenges to overcome during the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development and collaboration is key to safeguarding the future of our oceans."
Grégoire Touron-Gardic, Pierre Failler. A bright future for wave reserves? Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2022; DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2022.02.006
Permafrost Peatlands Approaching Tipping Point
March 14, 2022
Researchers warn that permafrost peatlands in Europe and Western Siberia are much closer to a climatic tipping point than previous believed. The frozen peatlands in these areas store up to 39 billion tons of carbon -- the equivalent to twice that stored in the whole of European forests.
A new study, led by the University of Leeds, used the latest generation of climate models to examine possible future climates of these regions and the likely impact on their permafrost peatlands.
The projections indicate that even with the strongest efforts to reduce global carbon emissions, and therefore limit global warming, by 2040 the climates of Northern Europe will no longer be cold and dry enough to sustain peat permafrost.
However, strong action to reduce emissions could help preserve suitable climates for permafrost peatlands in northern parts of Western Siberia, a landscape containing 13.9 billion tonnes of peat carbon.
The study, published in Nature Climate Change, emphasises the importance of socio-economic policies aimed at reducing emissions and mitigating climate change and their role in determining the rate and extent of permafrost peatland thaw.
Study lead author, Richard Fewster is a PhD researcher in the School of Geography at Leeds. He said: "We examined a range of future emission trajectories. This included strong climate-change mitigation scenario, which would see large-scale efforts to curb emissions across sectors, to no-mitigations scenarios and worse-case scenarios.
"Our modelling shows that these fragile ecosystems are on a precipice and even moderate mitigation leads to the widespread loss of suitable climates for peat permafrost by the end of the century.
"But that doesn't mean we should throw in the towel. The rate and extent to which suitable climate are lost could be limited, and even partially reversed, by strong climate-change mitigation policies."
Study co-author Dr Paul Morris, Associate Professor of Biogeoscience at Leeds, Said: "Huge stocks of peat carbon have been protected for millennia by frozen conditions but once those conditions become unsuitable all that stored carbon can be lost very quickly.
"The magnitude of twenty-first century climate change is likely to overwhelm any protection the insulating properties of peat soils could provide."
The large quantities of carbon stored in peatland permafrost soils are particularly threatened by rapid twenty-first-century climate change. When permafrost thaws the organic matter starts to decompose, releasing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, which increase global temperatures and potentially accelerate global climate change.
Study co-author Dr Ruza Ivanovic, Associate Professor in Climatology at Leeds said: "Peatland permafrost responds differently to changing climates than mineral-soil permafrost due to the insulating properties of organic soils, but peatlands remain poorly represented in Earth system models.
"It is vitally important these ecosystems are understood and accounted for when considering the impact of climate change on the planet."
Study co-author Dr Chris Smith, from the School of Earth and Environment, said: "More work is needed to further understanding of these fragile ecosystems.
"Remote sensing and field campaigns can help improve maps of modern peat permafrost distribution in regions where observation data is lacking. This would enable future modelling studies to make hemispheric-scale projections."
Fewster, R.E., Morris, P.J., Ivanovic, R.F. et al. Imminent loss of climate space for permafrost peatlands in Europe and Western Siberia. Nat. Clim. Chang., 2022 DOI: 10.1038/s41558-022-01296-7
Restoring Tropical Peatlands Supports Bird Diversity And Does Not Affect Livelihoods Of Oil Palm Farmers
March 15, 2022
A new study has found that oil palm can be farmed more sustainably on peatlands by re-wetting the land -- conserving both biodiversity and livelihoods.
The research looked at tropical peatland restoration efforts in Indonesia, and investigates whether managing water levels on drained peatlands affects the viability of oil palm grown by farmers, as well as bird species diversity.
Tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia contain large below-ground carbon stocks, while peat swamp forests contain unique and threatened biodiversity. However, when peat forests are cleared and peatlands are drained for cultivation, it results in carbon emissions, biodiversity losses, and land subsidence. Drained peatlands are also prone to fire, which in the past has led to toxic haze, deaths, and health and economic damage.
Indonesia is estimated to contain 47% of global tropical peatlands, chiefly on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Forests covered 76% of Sumatra's peatland in 1990, but by 2015, 66% was covered by smallholder agriculture or industrial plantations, primarily of oil palm.
Drainage is considered necessary to maintain oil palm yields because prolonged flooding reduces fruit production. However, peatland drainage means Sumatra is now a hotspot for peat fires.
The study found that re-wetting should have net positive effects for smallholders by reducing the risk of fires that can damage property, plantations, and human health, without having a detectable effect on oil palm yields.
A farmer collaborating on the project, Mr Udin, said: "Even if the farm flooded for a few days, the yield is not decreased."
The study, published in Journal of Applied Ecology, was led by the University of York and ZSL (Zoological Society of London), as well as colleagues from the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Land Resources Research and Development and Jambi University in Indonesia.
The study -- which focussed on Jambi province in Sumatra, Indonesia -- studied water table depths on oil palm farms managed by smallholder farmers, to assess impacts on oil palm yields and on bird species living on the farms.
Peat is a carbon-rich soil formed from partly decomposed vegetation in permanently wet conditions. Tropical peatlands are critically important for storing carbon in the ground, and also provide habitats for tropical wildlife, including tigers, gibbons, birds, and specially adapted plants, fish, and microbes.
Cultivating peatlands also supports people's livelihoods, such as small-scale farmers growing oil palm.
Peatland needs to be drained using canals to make the land suitable for farming, which can impact habitats and cause the peat to emit carbon. The dry land can also become prone to fire -- leading to increased carbon emissions, toxic haze, and a threat to the lives of both people and wildlife.
Restoring drained peatland involves a process of "rewetting" where canals draining water away are blocked or filled in, which makes it less likely that the peatlands will catch fire.
Ninety bird species were recorded in an area of peat swamp forest neighbouring the farms, but only 48 species were found in oil palm. The species living in the forest were also different, including 35 conservation-priority species, and tended to be larger-bodied species that play different ecological roles, meaning forest protection is critical for conserving biodiversity.
Reducing fire risk in the neighbouring oil palm farms by re-wetting should reduce the risk of forest burning and of further habitat loss for wildlife, while still supporting farmer production.
Dr. Eleanor Warren-Thomas, now at Bangor University and IIASA, and who led the study while a researcher at York, said: "Indonesia has been very successful in reducing deforestation and considerable effort has gone into peat restoration to avoid fires.
"But one of the big challenges is the trade-off between livelihoods of owners of small farms and ensuring biodiversity in these areas.
"What this new study shows is that retaining more water in oil palm farms to reduce fire risk seems to have no effect on yields, which is good news for farmers. In contrast to the concerns of some plantations, retaining water levels close to the surface (40cm or less) still enables oil palm cultivation."
Eleanor said: "By also surveying bird species in one of the remaining peat swamp forest areas nearby, we also showed the huge importance of protecting the remaining forest for bird conservation -- avoiding fires in the landscape is key to doing this.
"These unique birds can also act as seed dispersers -- crucial if in the longer-term forest restoration becomes an option.
"One of the conclusions of the study is that larger-scale industrial farming organisations would be able to help further studies in this area, if they are able to publish their data and share their knowledge to inform sustainable oil palm production strategies."
Eleanor Warren‐Thomas, Fahmuddin Agus, Panji Gusti Akbar, Merry Crowson, Keith C. Hamer, Bambang Hariyadi, Jenny A. Hodgson, Winda D. Kartika, Mailys Lopes, Jennifer M. Lucey, Dedy Mustaqim, Nathalie Pettorelli, Asmadi Saad, Widia Sari, Gita Sukma, Lindsay C. Stringer, Caroline Ward, Jane K. Hill. No evidence for trade‐offs between bird diversity, yield and water table depth on oil palm smallholdings: Implications for tropical peatland landscape restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology, 2022; DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.14135
Twenty-First Century Hydroclimate: A Continually Changing Baseline, With More Frequent Extremes
March 14, 2022
Maps of the American West have featured ever darker shades of red over the past two decades. The colours illustrate the unprecedented drought blighting the region. In some areas, conditions have blown past severe and extreme drought into exceptional drought. But rather than add more superlatives to our descriptions, one group of scientists believes it's time to reconsider the very definition of drought.
Researchers from half a dozen universities investigated what the future might hold in terms of rainfall and soil moisture, two measurements of drought. The team, led by UC Santa Barbara's Samantha Stevenson, found that many regions of the world will enter permanent dry or wet conditions in the coming decades, under modern definitions. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveal the importance of rethinking how we classify these events as well as how we respond to them.
"Essentially, we need to stop thinking about returning to normal as a thing that is possible," said Stevenson, an assistant professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. This idea affects both how we define drought and pluvial (abnormally wet) events and how we adapt to a changing environment.
A drought is when conditions are drier than expected. But this concept becomes vague when the baseline itself is in flux. Stevenson suggests that, for some applications, it's more productive to frame drought relative to this changing background state, rather than a region's historical range of water availability.
To predict future precipitation and soil moisture levels, Stevenson and her colleagues turned to a new collection of climate models from different research institutions. Researchers had run each model many times with slightly different initial conditions, in what scientists call an "ensemble." Since the climate is an inherently chaotic system, researchers use ensembles to account for some of this unpredictability.
The results show a world where certain regions are in permanent drought while others experience perennial pluvial for the rest of the 21st century. The team calculated the year in which average soil moisture will exceed the threshold that defines either a megadrought or a megapluvial. "In other words, at what point do average conditions exceed what we would consider a megadrought if it happened now, [and never return to 'normal']" Stevenson said.
The western United States has already crossed this benchmark, and there are other places headed that way as well, including Australia, southern Africa and western Europe. "But, again, that's if we use today's definition of a drought," Stevenson said.
The authors argue that we need to move away from fixed definitions toward a more nuanced account of drought and pluvial. "Our idea of normal is, in a sense, meaningless when 'normal' is continuously changing," Stevenson added.
Climate models indicate that average soil moisture in many regions will continue to drop. That said, the team's ensembles suggests that soil moisture will continue to experience drought-related variation similar to today, relative to the ever-drier baseline.
The fluctuation highlights the need to consider both long term changes and the usual ups and downs associated with historic droughts and pluvials. "The most important management challenge will be to adjust for the relentless declines in water availability, as this exceeds the expected impact of future megadroughts," said co-author Julia Cole, a professor at the University of Michigan.
Precipitation patterns, on the other hand, will become much more extreme. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. So as the atmosphere heats up, it'll be able to suck more moisture from dry areas and dump more precipitation on wet regions.
"We wanted to consider both precipitation and soil moisture at the same time because that can be important for water management," Stevenson said. For instance, we will need to adapt infrastructure to more arid conditions in the American West, but that infrastructure will also need to handle more intense rainfall.
"When we talk about being in a drought, the presumption is that eventually the drought will end, and conditions will return to normal," Stevenson said. "But if we're never returning to normal, then we need to adapt all of the ways that we manage water with the expectation that normal will continually be drier and drier every year."
Rings around Lake Powell in 2017 evince the drought that has settled on the American West. Stevenson’s study suggests it will remain with us for the rest of the century, if not longer.
Samantha Stevenson, Sloan Coats, Danielle Touma, Julia Cole, Flavio Lehner, John Fasullo, Bette Otto-Bliesner. Twenty-first century hydroclimate: A continually changing baseline, with more frequent extremes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2022; 119 (12) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2108124119
Research Shows Huge Forest Fires Don't Cause Living Trees To Release Much Carbon
March 14, 2022
Research on the ground following two large wildfires in California's Sierra Nevada mountain range showed the vast majority of carbon stored in trees before the blazes was still there after the fires.
Published in the journal Forests, the findings are an important step toward understanding the connection between wildfires and climate-change-inducing carbon emissions, according to a scientific collaboration that included Mark Harmon of Oregon State University.
Carbon dioxide, a product of combustion, is a major greenhouse gas and one of the primary causes of climate change.
Knowing how much carbon is released during fires can help inform decisions about the carbon storage and emissions implications of forest management decisions, say the scientists.
While satellite- and LiDAR-based research has suggested as much as 85% of living trees' biomass combusts in California's big fires, the study led by Harmon, professor emeritus in the OSU College of Forestry, indicates the amount of combusted biomass is less than 2%.
"The general impression the public has is that much of a forest is combusted in a megafire, and that's usually what's been presented in the press," Harmon said. "But that did not match what we were observing, so we did a very detailed study examining the combustion process at different levels of the fire system, starting with twigs and ending up at the level of the entire fire."
Harmon, fire ecologist Chad Hanson of the John Muir Project and Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist with the Wild Heritage Project, looked at the Creek Fire, which affected nearly 400,000 acres beginning in September 2020, and the Rim Fire, which started in August 2013 and spread across more than 250,000 acres.
The scientists spent four years on the ground in the fire areas, studying and calculating combustion rates at the level of branches, trees, stands of trees and landscapes to determine the amount of carbon that remained in trees versus what was released into the atmosphere.
"The estimates of the percentage of trees combusted in large fires are all over the place -- they are often high -- and this has been a major concern in the recent literature, suggesting that better estimates are needed," Harmon said. "Our work delivers one such estimate, one that provides a framework to synthesize combustion rates at different levels of the forest and different levels of fire severity."
The study showed that while combustion rates were 100% for the smaller branch segments of big trees and up to 57% for whole small trees, the combustion rates were low overall at the stand level (0.1% to 3.2%) and the landscape level (0.6% to 1.8%).
Stand level refers to all trees of various species and sizes in an area of a particular fire severity class; landscape level means the entire burned area, averaging over the fire severity classes.
"While many field scientists likely would not find our results surprising, there were recent peer-reviewed published estimates of up to 85% live tree combustion from the Rim Fire," Harmon said. "Other studies based on a literature review suggest up to 65% of the live trees could have been combusted in high-severity patches. No one in the peer-review process questioned the results."
Even in severe fire patches the larger-size trees showed low combustion rates -- less than 5%, Harmon said. Large trees account for the majority of a forest's biomass, leading to the low overall combustion rates at the stand level, he explained.
"Even for megafires classified as high severity, much of the area within the fire perimeter burned at low and moderate severity with less than 0.5% live tree combustion at the stand level," Hanson added. "This study demonstrates the value of ground-based studies to inform policy decisions and management. Removing vegetation over vast areas is likely to lead to more cumulative carbon emissions than large fires themselves."
Scientists are increasingly emphasizing the importance of storing more carbon in mature, older trees whether forests have burned or not, DellaSala said, as a way to curb total greenhouse gas emissions.
"We suggest that researchers and policy makers avoid using combustion rates not based on field study as they appear to overstate the wildfire emissions used in carbon emissions reporting; this can potentially misdirect climate mitigation policy," he said.
Dead trees decompose slowly as new vegetation grows and absorbs atmospheric carbon, the scientists point out. If fire-killed trees are allowed to remain in place, the natural decomposition process might take decades to hundreds of years to release the trees' carbon.
On the other hand, if those trees are logged to serve as energy-producing biomass, that same carbon could potentially enter the atmosphere much faster. More study is needed, the researchers note, to determine the degree to which post-fire forest management influences the carbon release time frame, including how biomass energy might offset the burning of fossil fuels and how wood products release carbon as they are used and disposed.
"The effects of salvaging and putting some of that wood into durable wood products need to be fully investigated," Harmon said. "More fires need to be examined using our type of approach to determine how variable the combustion rates are at different levels for different forest types and ages."
About the OSU College of Forestry: For a century, the College of Forestry has been a world class center of teaching, learning and research. It offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in sustaining ecosystems, managing forests and manufacturing wood products; conducts basic and applied research on the nature and use of forests; and operates more than 15,000 acres of college forests.
Creek Fire Aftermath
Mark E. Harmon, Chad T. Hanson, Dominick A. DellaSala. Combustion of Aboveground Wood from Live Trees in Megafires, CA, USA. Forests, 2022; 13 (3): 391 DOI: 10.3390/f13030391
Avalon Golf Course Bushcare Needs You
Pittwater Reserves: Histories + Notes + Others
A History Of The Campaign For Preservation Of The Warriewood Escarpment by David Palmer OAM and Angus Gordon OAM
Angophora Reserve - Angophora Reserve Flowers
Annie Wyatt Reserve - A Pictorial
Avalon's Village Green: Avalon Park Becomes Dunbar Park - Some History + Toongari Reserve and Catalpa Reserve
Bairne Walking Track Ku-Ring-Gai Chase NP by Kevin Murray
Bangalley Headland Bangalley Mid Winter
Banksias of Pittwater
Barrenjoey Boathouse In Governor Phillip Park Part Of Our Community For 75 Years: Photos From The Collection Of Russell Walton, Son Of Victor Walton
Barrenjoey Headland: Spring flowers
Barrenjoey Headland after fire
Bungan Beach Bush Care
Careel Bay Saltmarsh plants
Careel Bay Birds
Careel Bay Clean Up day
Careel Bay Playing Fields History and Current
Careel Creek - If you rebuild it they will come
Centre trail in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Chiltern Track- Ingleside by Marita Macrae
Clareville/Long Beach Reserve + some History
Coastal Stability Series: Cabbage Tree Bay To Barrenjoey To Observation Point by John Illingsworth, Pittwater Pathways, and Dr. Peter Mitchell OAM
Cowan Track by Kevin Murray
Curl Curl To Freshwater Walk: October 2021 by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Currawong and Palm Beach Views - Winter 2018
Currawong-Mackerel-The Basin A Stroll In Early November 2021 - photos by Selena Griffith
Currawong State Park Currawong Beach + Currawong Creek
Deep Creek To Warriewood Walk photos by Joe Mills
Drone Gives A New View On Coastal Stability; Bungan: Bungan Headland To Newport Beach + Bilgola: North Newport Beach To Avalon + Bangalley: Avalon Headland To Palm Beach
Dunbar Park - Some History + Toongari Reserve and Catalpa Reserve
Dundundra Falls Reserve: August 2020 photos by Selena Griffith - Listed in 1935
Elsie Track, Scotland Island
Elvina Track in Late Winter 2019 by Penny Gleen
Elvina Bay Walking Track: Spring 2020 photos by Joe Mills
Elvina Bay-Lovett Bay Loop Spring 2020 by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Fern Creek - Ingleside Escarpment To Warriewood Walk + Some History photos by Joe Mills
Iluka Park, Woorak Park, Pittwater Park, Sand Point Reserve, Snapperman Beach Reserve - Palm Beach: Some History
Ingleside Wildflowers August 2013
Irrawong - Ingleside Escarpment Trail Walk Spring 2020 photos by Joe Mills
Irrawong - Mullet Creek Restoration
Katandra Bushland Sanctuary - Ingleside
Lucinda Park, Palm Beach: Some History + 2022 Pictures
McCarr's Creek to Church Point to Bayview Waterfront Path
Mona Vale Beach - A Stroll Along, Spring 2021 by Kevin Murray
Mona Vale Headland, Basin and Beach Restoration
Mount Murray Anderson Walking Track by Kevin Murray and Joe Mills
Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment: Past Notes Present Photos by Margaret Woods
Narrabeen Lagoon State Park
Narrabeen Lagoon State Park Expansion
Narrabeen Rockshelf Aquatic Reserve
Nerang Track, Terrey Hills by Bea Pierce
Newport Bushlink - the Crown of the Hill Linked Reserves
Newport Community Garden - Woolcott Reserve
Newport to Bilgola Bushlink 'From The Crown To The Sea' Paths: Founded In 1956 - A Tip and Quarry Becomes Green Space For People and Wildlife
Pittwater spring: waterbirds return to Wetlands
Pittwater's Lone Rangers - 120 Years of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase and the Men of Flowers Inspired by Eccleston Du Faur
Pittwater's Parallel Estuary - The Cowan 'Creek
Riddle Reserve, Bayview
Salvation Loop Trail, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park- Spring 2020 - by Selena Griffith
Stapleton Park Reserve In Spring 2020: An Urban Ark Of Plants Found Nowhere Else
The Chiltern Track
The Resolute Beach Loop Track At West Head In Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park by Kevin Murray
Towlers Bay Walking Track by Joe Mills
Trafalgar Square, Newport: A 'Commons' Park Dedicated By Private Landholders - The Green Heart Of This Community
Turimetta Beach Reserve by Joe Mills, Bea Pierce and Lesley
Turimetta Beach Reserve: Old & New Images (by Kevin Murray) + Some History
Warriewood Wetlands and Irrawong Reserve
Whale Beach Ocean Reserve: 'The Strand' - Some History On Another Great Protected Pittwater Reserve
Winji Jimmi - Water Maze
New Shorebirds WingThing For Youngsters Available To Download
A Shorebirds WingThing educational brochure for kids (A5) helps children learn about shorebirds, their life and journey. The 2021 revised brochure version was published in February 2021 and is available now. You can download a file copy here.
If you would like a free print copy of this brochure, please send a self-addressed envelope with A$1.10 postage (or larger if you would like it unfolded) affixed to: BirdLife Australia, Shorebird WingThing Request, 2-05Shorebird WingThing/60 Leicester St, Carlton VIC 3053.
Shorebird Identification Booklet
The Migratory Shorebird Program has just released the third edition of its hugely popular Shorebird Identification Booklet. The team has thoroughly revised and updated this pocket-sized companion for all shorebird counters and interested birders, with lots of useful information on our most common shorebirds, key identification features, sighting distribution maps and short articles on some of BirdLife’s shorebird activities.
The booklet can be downloaded here in PDF file format: http://www.birdlife.org.au/documents/Shorebird_ID_Booklet_V3.pdf
Paper copies can be ordered as well, see http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/counter-resources for details.
Download BirdLife Australia's children’s education kit to help them learn more about our wading birdlife
Shorebirds are a group of wading birds that can be found feeding on swamps, tidal mudflats, estuaries, beaches and open country. For many people, shorebirds are just those brown birds feeding a long way out on the mud but they are actually a remarkably diverse collection of birds including stilts, sandpipers, snipe, curlews, godwits, plovers and oystercatchers. Each species is superbly adapted to suit its preferred habitat. The Red-necked Stint is as small as a sparrow, with relatively short legs and bill that it pecks food from the surface of the mud with, whereas the Eastern Curlew is over two feet long with a exceptionally long legs and a massively curved beak that it thrusts deep down into the mud to pull out crabs, worms and other creatures hidden below the surface.
Some shorebirds are fairly drab in plumage, especially when they are visiting Australia in their non-breeding season, but when they migrate to their Arctic nesting grounds, they develop a vibrant flush of bright colours to attract a mate. We have 37 types of shorebirds that annually migrate to Australia on some of the most lengthy and arduous journeys in the animal kingdom, but there are also 18 shorebirds that call Australia home all year round.
What all our shorebirds have in common—be they large or small, seasoned traveller or homebody, brightly coloured or in muted tones—is that each species needs adequate safe areas where they can successfully feed and breed.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is managed and supported by BirdLife Australia.
This project is supported by Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Funding from Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Port Phillip Bay Fund is acknowledged.
The National Shorebird Monitoring Program is made possible with the help of over 1,600 volunteers working in coastal and inland habitats all over Australia.
The National Shorebird Monitoring program (started as the Shorebirds 2020 project initiated to re-invigorate monitoring around Australia) is raising awareness of how incredible shorebirds are, and actively engaging the community to participate in gathering information needed to conserve shorebirds.
In the short term, the destruction of tidal ecosystems will need to be stopped, and our program is designed to strengthen the case for protecting these important habitats.
In the long term, there will be a need to mitigate against the likely effects of climate change on a species that travels across the entire range of latitudes where impacts are likely.
The identification and protection of critical areas for shorebirds will need to continue in order to guard against the potential threats associated with habitats in close proximity to nearly half the human population.
Here in Australia, the place where these birds grow up and spend most of their lives, continued monitoring is necessary to inform the best management practice to maintain shorebird populations.
BirdLife Australia believe that we can help secure a brighter future for these remarkable birds by educating stakeholders, gathering information on how and why shorebird populations are changing, and working to grow the community of people who care about shorebirds.
To find out more visit: http://www.birdlife.org.au/projects/shorebirds-2020/shorebirds-2020-program
Aussie Bread Tags Collection Points
Award-Winning Journalist Kate McClymont AM Addresses CWA Manly’s IWD Event
Pension Increase March 20
- Singles: Increase of $20.10 a fortnight, totalling $987.60 a fortnight
- Couples (combined): Increase of $30.20 a fortnight for couples, totalling $1,488.80 a fortnight.
- Single: threshold has increased by $6,750 to $599,750 for homeowners and $816,250 for non-homeowners.
- Couple (combined): threshold has increased by $10,000 to $901,500 for homeowners and $1,118,000 for non-homeowners.
NSW Seniors Festival Online
Future Of Aged Care In The Spotlight
Reforms To Deliver Lower Prices For Medical Devices And Lower Private Health Insurance Premiums
Netflix Good-Self-Checkouts Bad: Seniors Grapple With Changing Digital Technology
Young People Urge To Stop Vaping
Rebecca Jeffcoat: Mawson Station Leader
Published March 6, 2022 by The Australian Antarctic Division
This year's Station Leader for Mawson research station is Rebecca Jeffcoat. Ms Jeffcoat returns to Antarctica after previously leading the wintering team at Casey research station in 2017.
Word Of The Week: Tenacity
- United Cinemas Avalon - Wednesday 30th March, 8 pm
- Collaroy United Cinemas -Thursday 7th April, 7 pm
Young And Emerging Artists Showcase Talents At MAG&M
Ocean Film Festival World Tour 2022
Military History Lesson On Offer For Students
Chain Of Fools - Aretha Franklin
- Aretha Franklin - lead vocals and piano
- Jimmy Johnson and Joe South - guitars
- Spooner Oldham - Wurlitzer electric piano
- Tommy Cogbill - bass
- Roger Hawkins - drums
- The Sweet Inspirations, Carolyn Franklin, Erma Franklin & Ellie Greenwich - background vocals
Australia And The Netherlands Initiate MH17 Legal Proceedings
- the missile system was transported from Russia to an agricultural field in the east of Ukraine on the morning of 17 July 2014 – an area under the control of Russian-backed separatists;
- the missile system belonged to the Russian Federation’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Military Brigade, and was accompanied by a trained Russian military crew;
- from the launch site, the Buk-TELAR fired the missile that shot down Flight MH17, killing all 298 people on board;
- the missile could only have been fired by the trained Russian crew of the Buk-TELAR, or at least by someone acting under their instruction, direction or control; and
- the Buk missile system was returned to the Russian Federation shortly after the downing of Flight MH17.
A Third Of New Mums During Early COVID Had Postpartum Depression
- Mums who fed infants formula had 92% greater odds of screening positive for postpartum depression and were 73% more likely to screen positive for major depressive symptoms, compared to those who breastfed or bottle-fed with their own human milk.
- Mums with infants in neonatal intensive care units had 74% greater odds of screening positive, and each one-week increase in weeks postpartum increased the odds of screening positive by 4%.
- Mums worried about contracting COVID-19 had 71% greater odds of screening positive for postpartum depression.
Close The Blinds During Sleep To Protect Your Health
- (1) Don't turn lights on. If you need to have a light on (which older adults may want for safety), make it a dim light that is closer to the floor.
- Colour is important. Amber or a red/orange light is less stimulating for the brain. Don't use white or blue light and keep it far away from the sleeping person.
- Blackout shades or eye masks are good if you can't control the outdoor light. Move your bed so the outdoor light isn't shining on your face.
Malaria Drug Could Combat Chemotherapy-Resistant Head And Neck Cancers
Scientists Find Brain Network That Makes Mice Mingle
Higher Risk Of Temperature-Related Death If Global Warming Exceeds 2°C
Unleashing The Tiger: Mapping The Aussie Tiger Prawn Genome
Cognitive Decline Key Factor In Predicting Life Expectancy In Alzheimer’s Disease
Rapid Changes To The Arctic Seafloor Noted As Submerged Permafrost Thaws
Hoverfly Brains Mapped To Detect The Sound Of Distant Drones
Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.