What is bush regeneration?
Bush regeneration (or 'regen') is the rehabilitation of bush from a weed affected or otherwise degraded area to a healthier community of native plants and animals. It has also been defined as “The practice of restoring bushland by reinstating and reinforcing the systems’ natural regeneration processes”
Weeds are often the greatest threat to remnant vegetation, and so bush regeneration is closely associated with weed control. Weed management is not the aim of bush regeneration but one of the tools used to help native plants.
This young forest has been overrun with invasive weed species of Lantana (Lantana camara) and heavily dominant water vine and Cissus antarctica.
As you can see, the canopy trees are covered in vines, which are suffocating these trees and slowly killing them. Additionally, the heavy vines on the periphery inhibit sunlight from entering the forest making it near impossible for new young trees to establish themselves when the seeds are dropped.
Vines are a beautiful and natural part of rainforest ecosystems, providing structural and species diversity as well as food and shelter for many animals but they become a major problem at regeneration sites and along edges of rainforest remnants.
We worked on this site in Federal NSW to remove the heavy vine presence, many of which are not native to the region. When the forest is mature and can handle more vines, native species are encouraged to come back when the forest is established enough to support them.
Why do we do it?
In the region we work in of northern NSW, the rainforest was vastly cleared (99% of it!) making it vulnerable to invasive species.
Invasive and foreign species (or weeds) can overtake the rainforest, smothering and suffocating it. This threatens native trees and makes it extremely difficult for young trees to establish themselves. The speed at which many weeds spread means areas that could be forest are quickly covered in weeds. Many of these invasive species are also inefficient in creating habitat and food sources for our native birds and animals.
At Reforest Now we understood the importance of protecting natural areas from invasion of weed species by removing weeds and allowing for the natural re-growth of native species in the area.
Planting trees is just one part of the story for the long-term survival and thrival of the rainforest here. We must work to remove weeds that threaten the longevity of our biodiversity and regenerate areas where this has occured.
This young forest has been overrun with the weed species of Lantana (Lantana camara), native species of Water vine (Cissus hypoglauca) and Cissus antarctica. The consequence of this heavy vine presence on a young forest is the inability for new trees to grow as no light enters the forest. As it is a small fragment the growth is dormant and the older canopy trees are being smothered to death (literally).
Our crew is here removing these vines to enable light to enter the forest. This will help young trees establish themselves and grow. Vines are encouraged to return when the forest is old enough and strong enough.
In this section, a huge wall of Lantana is bordering the forest.
Lantana is a problem because it forms a dense thicket. It usually invades disturbed land and river margins, particularly open, sunny areas. Given the right conditions, it spreads quickly. Lantana is a lalopathic, releasing chemicals into the surrounding soil to prevent seed germination, notably of the native flora, so that it eventually takes over native bushland.
This wall of lantana is preventing light entering the forest making it near impossible for the young seedlings inside to grow and establish themselves.
What regeneration services do we provide?
We provide the following services to landholders in northern NSW :
Threatened Species Management
Estuary, wetland and riparian land management
Large and small-scale revegetation projects
Seed collection and plant propagation
Habitat Management (creation, enhancement and maintenance)
Implementation of Vegetation Management Plans
If you are interested in our regeneration services, please use the contact form below :