The Central Highlands of Victoria are home to the world's tallest angiosperms, the mountain ash (Eucalytpus regnans). The forests provide key habitat for threatened and endangered flora and fauna, are important watersheds for metropolitan Melbourne, and support the regional timber industry. Our research in these forests focuses on understanding historical stand dynamics of temperate rain forests dominated by Nothofagus cunninghamii within a landscape matrix of mountain ash and alpine ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis). Dendroecological studies by Simkin and Baker (in press) have demonstrated how riparian Nothofagus and sassafras (Atherosperma moschatum) survived the catastrophic Black Friday fires of 1939 and how the adjacent mixed species stand dominated by ash developed in the 60 years following the 1939 fires.
Research support was provided by Monash Univerity's School of Biological Sciences and an Early Career Researcher Grant.