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Mr Liam Hindrum

Mr Liam HindrumMr Liam Hindrum

Honours student - COMPLETED

Topic: the effects of harvesting disturbance on understorey regeneration within aggregated retention coupes in southern Tasmania.

University of Tasmania


Forest harvesting has been shown to cause significant soil disturbance. This soil disturbance has been suggested as a likely factor contributing to the floristic differences commonly detected between regeneration following logging and natural regeneration resulting from wildfire in wet eucalypt forests. Disturbance-tolerant species such as Gahnia grandis commonly increase in abundance following logging, while more sensitive species, such as many of the rainforest species, often decrease in abundance.

Soil disturbance is usually concentrated around areas such as landings, snig tracks and firebreaks where the majority of heavy machinery passes occur. These regions are therefore where the most significant floristic differences between logged and unlogged forests are likely to occur.

My project investigated the effects of harvesting disturbance on the understorey regeneration within aggregated retention coupes by comparing the floristic composition of snig tracks, windrows, firebreaks and the general harvested area with intact aggregates within the coupes (both burnt and unburnt). Soil characteristics such as nutrients, water-holding capacity, bulk density and organic carbon were also  measured.

An extension of the project involved collecting soil samples from the above treatments, and using these to set up glasshouse competition experiments. This allowed us to assess germination, growth and competition of different species such as Eucalyptus obliqua, Gahnia grandis and Pomaderris apetala on areas of differing harvesting disturbance. Samples were taken from the current year’s coupes to assess which species had viable propagules in the various treatments.

I studied honours in forest ecology at the University of Tasmania after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 2008 (where I was awarded the Bill Jackson scholarship). I spent the summer of 2008–09 working for Forestry Tasmania doing biodiversity sampling in aggregated retention coupes.

The supervisors for my project were Mark Hovenden at the University of Tasmania, and Sue Baker and Mark Neyland at Forestry Tasmania.

Liam Hindrum graduation

graduation