Plants & Fungi at Tuross

Plants & Fungi of the Tuross Head Littoral Rainforest Field Day
11am – 2.30pm Sun 22 May, Tuross Head
Take an informative walk through Chatham Park Littoral Rainforest at Tuross Head with Botanist, Jackie Miles. Learn to identify the native rainforest plants and the threatening weeds. Land Services Officer, Peter Gow will be discussing a range of weed control techniques.

Littoral Rainforest on the Far South Coast

Littoral Rainforest is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) under both NSW State (Threatened Species Conservation Act) and Commonwealth (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act) legislation, due largely to clearing and the threat to remaining stands from weeds, feral animals such as deer, fire and the activities of people (track creation, littering, plant collection, soil disturbance etc). Other less obvious threats include the loss of critical fauna elements from the ecosystem, that are needed for pollination or seed dispersal (e.g. cassowaries in north Queensland, which are the only dispersal agents for some large-fruited tree species), and the introduction of plant pathogens such as the recently arrived South American myrtle rust.

The Importance of Fungi

Fungi specialist, Teresa Van Der Heul, will also point out some amazing fungi which are present in these ecosystems.

“Fungi are vastly underappreciated, yet without them our world would not be the same. They are nature’s recyclers turning dead wood and plant material such as lignum and cellulose, back into individual components to be reabsorbed by living organisms including humans. Without fungi we would not have bread, alcoholic beverages or cheese; cows and other ruminants would be unable to digest plant material which would effectively eliminate dairy and beef from our diet. Gardening would cease and nutrients taken from the earth would never be replaced. Plant debris would be washed into the water ways essentially chocking off life to seagrass and aquatic critters. There would be no antibiotics….. neither we nor our ecosystem can survive without fungi.”

Here are a couple of fungi images from the Atlas photo comp, thanks for the identifications Teresa

Unusual

Panus fasciatus – a Fungimap target species

Dried Apricots

Aleuria rhenana – one of the fire fungi

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