Planned burn of habitat on USC campus | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Planned burn of habitat on USC campus

A prescribed burn of a section of USC’s compensatory habitat site at Sippy Downs is planned for tomorrow (Friday 10 September) weather permitting.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services officers from both urban and rural units will conduct the burn of 1.1 hectares of heathland on the far eastern side of the University campus, near Claymore Road, between 9am and noon.

Nearby Chancellor Park Estate residents and neighbouring schools and businesses have been notified.

The action will be supervised by USC as part of its fire management plan for the 15ha habitat, which was successfully translocated to the campus from Bundilla when a housing estate was built years ago.

The aim of this burn is to reduce the fuel load and associated fire hazard risk and maintain the health of the vegetation that contains some rare and endangered plant species.

Having a mosaic pattern of burnt and unburnt areas within the habitat area helps reduce the intensity of any future wildfires and provides favourable conditions for natural heath and forest regeneration.

Associate Professor of Vegetation and Plant Ecology Alison Shapcott, who is leading USC research into the translocated habitat, said the plot of land to be burned contains a plant known as Christmas bells (Blandfordia grandiflora) that can regenerate after fire events.

“This plot has been burnt once before since the translocation and that successfully enabled the regeneration of the Christmas bells, which die off,” Dr Shapcott said.

“So we are hoping that this prescribed burn will again stimulate them to grow and flower over summer either this year or next.” 


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