General, Research, Technology

Can Australian forests recover from fires?

Some of the oldest rainforests inworld are located in the north of the Australian state of New South Wales. Once upon a time, these moist forests covered the gigantic supercontinent of Gondwana, which at one time became home to evolutionarily unique plants and animals. According to sciencenews.com, rainforests usually do not burn, but a number of unprecedented fires that occurred recently in East Australia devastated more than 11 million hectares of ancient forests there. Will Australia's ecosystem be able to recover from the driest in the last 120 years of the year and its consequences?

Australia lost over 50% of its rainforests during fires

Forest fires in Australia

Extensive fires appearing year after year indifferent parts of our planet are increasingly associated with intensive climate change on Earth. John Wojnarski, a conservative biologist at Charles Darwin University, claims that more than 50 percent of Australia’s ecosystem has disappeared in the smoke of recent fires that swept most of the smallest continent of the planet. However, will affected areas be able to recover one day?

See also: Why are forests so important to our planet?

Most scientists studyingthe effects of climate change, it is believed that an increase in recorded fires may simply not leave enough time for rainforests to recover. In this case, the next potential victims of global warming could be young, moist forests in southeastern Victoria, which may not have enough time to mature and produce viable seeds for the next generation.

Fires destroyed not only the Australian forests, but also those who lived in them

Despite the fact that the fire killed a largethe number of rain forests, more arid places in Australia over the millennia have developed in its almost constant presence. Thus, the Australian savannahs and eucalyptus forests are able to fully recover in a short period of time even after the most devastating fire. As evidence of this, scientists cite the fact that a few weeks or even days after the fire comes down, burnt eucalyptus trees can give new shoots from their trunks and bases. Although the period of drought in Australia has still not stopped, today you can observe the growth of humus trees along the east coast of the continent. When heavy rains return to the mainland in the coming months, the places affected by the flames will again overgrow with greenery. However, a restored ecosystem is unlikely to be pleased with a collision with an even stronger fire if humanity does not take a number of decisive measures to combat climate change.

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Cockatoo in its natural habitat prefers to nest in the hollows of old trees

Slow tree restoration can increasecompetition among animals living in their vicinity. As more and more old trees become victims of fire, a number of representatives of the Australian ecosystem - from cockatoos to possums - will begin to experience a sharp lack of a suitable place for natural habitat, which can cause a real war for an ever-decreasing resource.

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Be that as it may, in order to formnecessary living conditions for most animals, nature requires an average of 50 to 100 years, which is why the rapid restoration of lost forests is currently not possible. In this case, the only thing that can really help the Australian ecosystem to revive can only be the limitation of human intervention in this situation.