The 2014 OAA-ANU Lecture
The worldâ€™s tallest flowering plants â€" the Mountain Ash forests â€" lie just 90 minutesâ€™ drive north-east from the Melbourne Cricket Ground. They are the worldâ€™s most carbon dense ecosystems. They yield almost all of Melbourneâ€™s water supply and are a critical environment for a wide range of native plants and animals. Mountain Ash forests are also subject to widespread logging, primarily for paper production and were the scene of the 2009 Black Saturday wildfires â€" the worst natural disaster in Australian history.
The ANU has conducted key research programs on forest ecology, biodiversity conservation and disturbance (logging and fire) impacts in these forests since mid-1983 leading to a major body of new knowledge and an array of exciting scientific discoveries. In this lecture Professor David Lindenmayer summarises some of the extra-ordinary ecology of Mountain Ash forests and some sobering recent research results highlighting links between past logging operations and the elevated severity of the 2009 fires.
Remarkably, very few Australians know about these forests â€" or of the enormous economic benefits that could accrue from strategic tourism investment and infrastructure. The final part of this Lecture outlines an exciting new vision for the regions lie north-east of Melbourne â€" a vision that ultimately may be critical to the very long-term persistence of this majestic forest itself â€" with resultant benefits for all Australians.â€
Academic, media, business, professional, political, community leaders, Association members - and guests are invited to participate in this ecological expose that has the potential to impact on each and every one of us - now and into the future.
Please RSVP acceptances to Mr Bruce Trewartha OAM by Friday 24 October 2014.