Australia fire emergency

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emydura

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yes, there are many plants and animals in the world that experience the same fate. But I'm not really worried about Wollemia because it is now successful in culture worldwide.
The stable genetics of this species prevent evolutionary further development.
True. I was at a friends place last night who had a Wollemi pine he had been growing for 17 years. It was about 3 metres high. This species will always be safe now that it is so widely grown across the world.

There is little genetic diversity in wollemi pines (only 3 individuals). Point 6 in this link (coppicing) suggests that fires have been in this canyon before killing most plants but a few individuals survived and regenerated by coppicing. Most of the trees are clones. I dare say if fire got in this time they would have been unlikely to survive.

There is very little sexual reproduction in this species. From an evolutionary perspective it is already functionally extinct.

https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/Stories/2016/Genetic-diversity-discovered-in-Wollemi-Pine-for-t
 
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ehanes7612

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yes, there are many plants and animals in the world that experience the same fate. But I'm not really worried about Wollemia because it is now successful in culture worldwide.
The stable genetics of this species prevent evolutionary further development.




Not necessarily. Cultivated species are prone to disease as much as non cultivated trees and because there is little to no genetic drift in the varieties, they rarely develop genetic immunity to new pests and since the genetic diveristy is dwindling as Emydura notes, it becomes an ever increasing problem. Case in point, Dutch Elm Trees, which came close to being wiped out (once a very hardy and dominant fixture in many neighborhoods)..and there are other examples of cultivated species actually going extinct.
 
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Berthold

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there is little to no genetic drift in the varieties, they rarely develop genetic immunity to new pests and since the genetic diveristy is dwindling as Emydura notes, it becomes an ever increasing problem.
I don't see a problem in that point. It is a great luck for all life in the world, that species disappear again.

We found these mammoth teeth near by about 26000 years old, but I am very happy that they disappeared.
First tooth is from a baby.

My favorite pet on my avatar was attacked by a virus but i think it survived.



 
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ehanes7612

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yes, it will be a better world with much less diversity...because things like Dutch Elms and Wollenia are too dangerous
 

Stone

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emydura

It is now only humans that can help keep this species alive.
Nonsense. Just leave them alone and they will continue to live until nature decides their time is up. They have managed without humans for god knows how many millennia but now only humans who have been here a couple of hundred years can do the job? I don't think so. That notion lives in the minds of arrogant humans but not reality. Do you really believe that if they were not discovered a decade ago they would die out more quickly than if they hadn't? Can't you see the stupidity if that concept? This species is on the way out due to a drying climate as you say. Leave them alone and stop trying to interfere with a natural process.

This canyon is normally very wet which has helped protect it from fires in the past. But as we have seen with the recent fires, areas that normally never catch fire are now burning -
Yes and it will be wet again and dry again. We are currently in a dry 2-3 year period. No trend in drought in Australia. It has been this dry before, not often, but it most certainly has.
http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/clima...gi?graph=rranom&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=7


See above.
 

Berthold

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yes, it will be a better world with much less diversity..
Yes, it would really be a much better world for me if there were fewer types of bacteria, viruses, insects and venomous snakes and spiders, etc.
I hate all living things who want to kill or eat me, inclusive warriors.
 
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emydura

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Do you really believe that if they were not discovered a decade ago they would die out more quickly than if they hadn't? Can't you see the stupidity if that concept?
.
I can only see the stupidity in your reply. If the Wollemi Pine was not discovered in 1994, it would now be extinct. The Gosper Mountains fire was burning everything in its path. A fire sensitive species such as the Wollemi Pine would have had little chance. It only survived due to firefighters drenching the canyon. Not only have humans ensured this population has survived for now, they have also established a couple of more populations in the Wollemi National Park. On top of this humans have propagated millions (literally) of Wollemi Pines which are now grown all around the world. There would be more Wollemi Pines growing now than has been the case for thousands of years. To say that the Wollemi Pine is no more secure now than it was before 1994 is just illogical.

If you don't believe me, then read this article by James Woodford who is the author of the book "The Wollemi Pine: The Incredible Discovery of a Living Fossil from the Age of the Dinosaurs". He backs up everything I have said. With all due respect, I would put his knowledge way ahead of your own.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/17/wollemi-pines-time-travellers-from-a-different-australia?CMP=share_btn_link
 
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emydura

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Thank you for this article - the tragedy of this situation and the potential loss of so many species has been on my mind. The article mentions one orchid, Thelymitra cyanapicata. Are there others that are known to be at risk at this point? I'm not so familiar with what Orchidaceae species are endemic to Australia, but I suppose it includes my beloved Aussie Dens :( Hoping for better days ahead for all those in the fire's path.
Released today was a comprehensive list of species that are under most threat of extinction from the bushfires in Australia. There are around 25 species of orchid included. Two are epiphytic orchids (Sarcochilus), the rest are terrestrial.

https://www.theguardian.com/environ...cies-australian-bushfires-towards-extinction?
 
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Berthold

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I don't know, but was there a wrong forest management in the potential fire areas in the last decade, so that the today fires have to much food?
That was a common failing in Mediterranean and Californian regions. But administration learned.
Stephan Pyne confirms my guess

"What Australia needs is more fires "
The American fire expert Stephen Pyne explains what can be learned from the Australian inferno and why it is dangerous to suppress natural forces.
 

Berthold

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On top of this humans have propagated millions (literally) of Wollemi Pines which are now grown all around the world. There would be more Wollemi Pines growing now than has been the case for thousands of years. To say that the Wollemi Pine is no more secure now than it was before 1994 is just illogical.
Mike didn't say that. Mike said the Wollemi Pine is no more secure today without human assistance. In that I fully agree.
There are a lot of living plants, animals and even human indigenous which are no longer safe today mostly due to diseases or climate change in the last 20000 years
 

Ray

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I don’t know the regions beyond my own observations from a single visit decades ago, but I get the impression that they’re what we’d call “chaparral”, with trees and underbrush. Such areas are supposed to be “cleansed by fire” periodically. That is typical of parts of California, and here in the southeast US, we have similar scenarios, and there are a plants and trees that won’t even reproduce until they are exposed to it.

The problem comes in when the fires are unnaturally suppressed for years, so that ground-level fuel supply gets denser and denser. So, instead of a brief fire that burns off the above-ground tinder in a flash, you end up with very intense fire that takes out trees and cooks the soil, killing root systems and everything else. Then (California is a great example) when rains come, there is nothing to anchor the soil, so mudslides and general erosion occur.

All of the issues are man-made, as we overbuild and “manage” areas that should be left pristine and allow nature to take its course. However, what’s done is done, so arguing about the point is ridiculous.
 

Berthold

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I don’t know the regions beyond my own observations from a single visit decades ago, but I get the impression that they’re what we’d call “chaparral”, with trees and underbrush. Such areas are supposed to be “cleansed by fire” periodically. That is typical of parts of California, and here in the southeast US, we have similar scenarios, and there are a plants and trees that won’t even reproduce until they are exposed to it.

The problem comes in when the fires are unnaturally suppressed for years, so that ground-level fuel supply gets denser and denser. So, instead of a brief fire that burns off the above-ground tinder in a flash, you end up with very intense fire that takes out trees and cooks the soil, killing root systems and everything else. Then (California is a great example) when rains come, there is nothing to anchor the soil, so mudslides and general erosion occur.

All of the issues are man-made, as we overbuild and “manage” areas that should be left pristine and allow nature to take its course. However, what’s done is done, so arguing about the point is ridiculous.
Yes, that is exactly, what I meant in my post #87
 
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NYEric

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I'm trying to not get involved in this but there are a few things I must say. Homo sapiens is the animal species with the fastest growing population on the planet. We are also the species that changes the planet the most, in positive and negative ways. As we effect changes we need to be more aware of the affects and try to destroy/disturb as little as possible.
 

Elf

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emydura

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I don’t know the regions beyond my own observations from a single visit decades ago, but I get the impression that they’re what we’d call “chaparral”, with trees and underbrush. Such areas are supposed to be “cleansed by fire” periodically. That is typical of parts of California, and here in the southeast US, we have similar scenarios, and there are a plants and trees that won’t even reproduce until they are exposed to it.

The problem comes in when the fires are unnaturally suppressed for years, so that ground-level fuel supply gets denser and denser. So, instead of a brief fire that burns off the above-ground tinder in a flash, you end up with very intense fire that takes out trees and cooks the soil, killing root systems and everything else. Then (California is a great example) when rains come, there is nothing to anchor the soil, so mudslides and general erosion occur.

All of the issues are man-made, as we overbuild and “manage” areas that should be left pristine and allow nature to take its course. However, what’s done is done, so arguing about the point is ridiculous.
Ray - every time there is a fire here this argument is immediately thrown up. However, it is not supported by the evidence nor supported by the experts or fire chiefs. It is simply incorrect to say that these fires would not have occurred if fuel reuction had occurred. Backburning plays a role but is only one part of fire management. The reality is when you have catastrophic fire condition, it is the weather that is primarily driving the fire. When the temperature is 45oC, the humidity is zero and the winds are 80 kms an hour, you don't need a lot of fuel to sustain a fire. In the third link below the NSW Fire Commissioner said this - He also said the burns did nothing to combat the massive "mega-fires" burning in NSW. "Hazard reduction burns that are only two years old, we're seeing these fires on these bad days just skip straight through it," he said. "We're only seeing effective amelioration on fire spread through hazard reduction areas that have been done so in the last 12 months."

The Royal Commission into the catastrophic Victorian bushfires in 2009, showed that there was no difference in damage between areas that had previously backburned and those that had not.

Another theme in the links below, is that changing weather patterns to a longer, hotter, dryer planet has really narrowed the window in which prescribed burns can occur. It has become too dangerous to undertake burns throughout a lot of the year. There are many cases of prescribed burns getting out of control and doing serious damage.

It is very simplistic to say that these fires are purely due to a lack of prescribed burning. Fire management is way more complicated than that.


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-20/hazard-reduction-burns-bushfires/11817336

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-10/hazard-reduction-burns-bushfire-prevention-explainer/11853366

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01...eights-in-on-hazard-reduction-debate/11850862

https://www.smh.com.au/national/pre...re-reduce-bushfire-risks-20200106-p53paf.html
 

Ray

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Emydura, I believe you misconstrued the purpose of my post.

In my opinion, had such areas remained unpopulated and had been left on their own, such fires could certainly still happen. I did not say or mean to imply that had those areas been manually burned, none of this would have happened or been less bad. What I was TRYING to say is that such areas are not particularly good places to populate, but now that they have been, we just have to deal with the consequences.

When I see news about the fires in Australia, it makes me sick.
 
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