Comic explainer: forest giants house thousands of animals (so why do we keep cutting them down?)

File 20181129 170241 np8k0s.png?ixlib=rb 1.1
Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

Madeleine De Gabriele, The Conversation and Wes Mountain, The Conversation

Giant eucalypts play an irreplaceable part in many of Australia’s ecosystems. These towering elders develop hollows, which make them nature’s high-rises, housing everything from endangered squirrel-gliders to lace monitors. Over 300 species of vertebrates in Australia depend on hollows in large old trees.

These “skyscraper trees” can take more than 190 years to grow big enough to play this nesting and denning role, yet developers are cutting them down at an astounding speed. In other places, such as Victoria’s Central Highlands Mountain Ash forests, the history of logging and fire mean that less than 1.2% of the original old-growth forest remains (that supports the highest density of large old hollow trees). And it’s not much better in other parts of our country.

David Lindenmayer explains how these trees form, the role they play – and how very hard they are to replace.




Read more:
Mountain ash has a regal presence: the tallest flowering plant in the world


Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND



Read more:
The plan to protect wildlife displaced by the Hume Highway has failed



Sign up to Beating Around the Bush, a series that profiles native plants: part gardening column, part dispatches from country, entirely Australian.The Conversation

Madeleine De Gabriele, Deputy Editor: Energy + Environment, The Conversation and Wes Mountain, Multimedia Editor, The Conversation

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Adani: Chinese state-owned company could help bankroll Carmichael coal mine

Who is Adani? Your browser does not support iframes. The Adani Group is close to securing finance for its controversial coal mine and...

Tax Justice May Podcast

In this month’s Taxcast: We discuss why we can’t afford the rich and challenge ideas about wealth, entrepreneurialism and investment. Also: ten years ago...

Banking encourages cheating

Any meaningful shift in the finance sector’s corporate culture will have to come from within, writes David Kinley. Do banking and finance attract cheats or...

Here’s a tip that could make banks phenomenally successful: radical honesty

Here's a tip that could make banks phenomenally successful: radical honesty Radical honesty works, but it is difficult. Shutterstock Louise Metcalf, Macquarie University Appearing before the banking royal...

Coalition’s changes to finance laws could be a ‘dreadful step backwards’

“What is actually the point of undoing it? One actually asks, why do you want to do this?” he said. “Why is it in the...

It all begins again. Politicians chasing money and donors

Do we want or deserve neo-liberalism ? It all begins again The retirement announcement of Julie Bishop, late on Thursday afternoon, was a signature Bishop move....

Big Coal

Book review: Big Coal Coal has become part of Australia’s economic landscape, and questioning it is difficult. Bill Collison Stuart Rosewarne, University of Sydney Burning coal is the...

The public should be ‘shocked, dismayed and disgusted’ at the major...

The public should be 'shocked, dismayed and disgusted' at the major banks ANZ and NAB have settled with ASIC over manipulation of the Bank Bill...

The Murray-Darling Basin: Water, markets and money

If the Department of Agriculture paid 2,500% above the average price for water in the Lower Darling, there appears to be one clear loser — the...

Words that matter. What’s a franking credit? What’s dividend imputation? And...

Words that matter. What’s a franking credit? What’s dividend imputation? And what's 'retiree tax'? There are words you’ll need to understand. But imputation is complex,...

The Queensland election outcome is a death knell for Adani’s coal...

The Queensland election outcome is a death knell for Adani's coal mine John Hewson, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University The coal mine proposed...