Effects of forest management practices on a localised Tasmanian endemic plant, the trailing riceflower Pimelea filiformis Hook.f. (Thymelaeaceae)
Wapstra, M and Adamczewski, KA and Hovenden, MJ and Duncan, F and French, BT, Effects of forest management practices on a localised Tasmanian endemic plant, the trailing riceflower Pimelea filiformis Hook.f. (Thymelaeaceae), Australian Forestry, 68, (3) pp. 211-220. ISSN 0004-9158 (2005) [Refereed Article]
Threatened plant species are a key component of forest ecosystems and are often justly considered sensitive to forestry practices. Management of threatened species is an important aspect of modern forest management. The trailing riceflower, Pimelea filiformis Hook.f. (Thymelaeaceae), is endemic to Tasmania and is confined to eucalypt forests of the central north of the State, an area important for production forestry activities. We determined the impact of forest practices on the abundance and health of P. filiformis by comparing sites that had and had not been logged. We examined four types of forestry activity: conversion of native forest to hardwood plantation; intensive native forest harvesting and regeneration undertaken prior to the introduction of the Tasmanian Forest Practices Code; intensive post-Code native forest harvesting and regeneration; and less-intensive post-Code native forest harvesting and regeneration. We also examined the environmental factors that were associated with P. filiformis in relatively undisturbed forest environments (control sites). Pimelea filiformis occurs most commonly on midslopes with relatively dense low shrub and ground layers (<1 m high) and low cover of both exposed soil and litter. Pimelea filiformis is least common on north-east-facing sites and most common on south-west-facing sites. There was a clear difference in both the cover and occurrence of P. filiformis between unlogged sites and those logged prior to adoption of the current Forest Practices Code. We found no evidence, however, for any impact on the cover, occurrence or health of P. filiformis between unlogged sites and those logged after the adoption of the Code, irrespective of the forestry treatment (including conversion of native forest to hardwood plantation).