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Importance of Results


My results on the temporal restrictions on seed dispersal to vacant habitat and the dependence on phenology of a plant species' ability to colonize vacant habitat suggest that regenerating rainforest will have a limited species diversity for some time to come. 

Regenerating sapling of Alyxia ruscifolia after a low intensity controlled burn in an area that was regenerating with rainforest.


Cooloola Rainforests

It is most likely that an unrecorded history of burning by aboriginals and early settlers to Queensland significantly reduced the extent of rainforest in Cooloola resulting in the patchy distribution of forest we see today.  While it is unlikely that forest would ever completely cover the landward dune systems to the exclusion of other forests, a less active burn policy by the National Parks staff may result in a more continuous distribution of rainforest that perhaps better reflects what the area would look like in the absence of humans. 


Mature individual of Elaeocarpus grandis (Blue Quandong) in Cooloola rainforest.



Canopy gap in rainforest near the edge of the forest.  At this site there were still remnant individuals of open woodland species.