North Queensland Naturalist 48 (2018): 26-29

Abstract

Boundaries between upland rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest dominated by Rose Gum (Eucalyptus grandis) are dynamic, being influenced by climate and fire, with recent expansion of rainforest attributed by some to the exclusion of fire from eucalypt forest. We document a case in which an intense fire burnt an area of rainforest in 2002, a year of severe drought; subsequently at least two Rose Gum seedlings germinated within it, 90 m from the nearest potential mother tree. These seedlings were revisited in 2012 and 2017. Fifteen years after the fire they are trees with diameters of 43 and 48 cm at 1.3 m above ground. This small case study shows that the occurrence of Rose Gums within rainforest is not necessarily evidence of rainforest expansion, so offering an important caution in interpreting the dynamics of these vegetation boundaries.