Developing a scholarship partnership with the Australian Native Plant Society (ANPS) Canberra Region.
The Capital Region Landkeepers Trust is in discussions with ANPS Canberra Region Inc. to jointly establish and fund a specifically targeted scholarship / fellowship facility to advance the science and practice of growing, conserving, preserving, promoting and appreciating native plants. This developing partnership recognises the strong alignment of interests of both organisations in terms of advancing the restoration and managing natural landscapes and plants of the ACT and wider Capital Region. The Trust will host the scholarship / fellowship facility (utilising its capacities as a Registered Environmental Organisation with DGR status) and both organisations will develop the guidelines and undertake the promotion and project selection processes.
Plant diversity responses to the reintroduction of fire into long unburnt grasslands (Michael Cleland, ANPS/LKT, CSU)
Many grasslands and grassy woodlands in temperate Australia are now long unburnt, although it is likely that these ecosystems were burnt by Indigenous Australians in the past. It is well known that fire promotes diversity in productive Themeda-dominated grasslands, due to removal of biomass providing space for inter-tussock species. To increase biodiversity and for cultural benefits, fire is now being reintroduced into these long unburnt grasslands.
This project aims to determine if there are biodiversity benefits from re-instating fire into long unburnt grassy ecosystems. Study plots will be followed though time from immediately after the fire through one growing season to determine effects of fire on vegetation structure, biomass, light availability, species richness and composition.
The outcomes of this project are relevant to grassland management more generally in southern Australia where there are knowledge gaps regarding the importance of fire in a range of grassland types in temperate Australia. This is especially relevant to grasslands where disturbance regimes have been greatly altered by European colonisation.