On Saturday the 21st May we held our first ever Fungi Surveys of Box Gum Grassy Woodlands on 2 sites around Cowra. One site was the Chiverton TSR on the Grenfell Rd. and the second site was in remnant woodland on the farm of one of our Box Gum Grassy Woodlands Habitat on Farm projects.
It will be wonderful to start gathering data on the fungi in our woodlands. We set up 4 teams on each site and collected 101 fungi specimens that have all gone to the Orange Ag Institute for official identification and recording.
In case you needed a bit of extra encouraging to love fungi, Alison Pouliot reported in this FungiMap BLOG about the fungi of Central Victoria’s Box Gum Woodlands and I am sure the same would be said for our local woodland here :-
Hundreds, possibly thousands of species of fungi inhabit Central Victoria’s Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands and Derived Grasslands. Although rarely a focus of biodiversity management, fungi are vitally important to the health and resilience of these ecosystems.
Many fungi may be threatened by processes that have resulted in widespread destruction or deterioration of these woodlands, especially as they are now largely restricted to isolated remnants.
It is so important for us to learn more about the fungi of these Woodlands to help us protect them into the future. The fungi are just as vital as the trees, understory, forbs, fallen timber and everything else associated with the woodlands. Interestingly it was noted by Alison that there was quite a difference in species when comparing the two sites. The species at our farm remnant site were very much colonising fungi species and although we found many fungi, it was not as diverse as the TSR (Travelling Stock Reserve) site. The TSR site also contained a greater variety of understory and groundcover plant species.
It really helped to tie the day together having some of the Biodiversity Conservation Trust team along to talk about the Box Gum Grassy Woodland remnants we were surveying in.
I am truly blown away everyday at how much everything links up with everything else. We still have such a small knowledge of this interconnectedness around us. They say Fungi is the Forgotten Kingdom but we are working to change this across the Central Tablelands. I can’t wait until next May!!!
The CSIRO did a study published in 2009 ‘Fungus diversity in revegetated paddocks compared with remnant woodland‘ in the area around Holbrook which is an interesting read if you wanted to have a look at it.
You can also check out this article recently produced by The Conversation ‘Beyond Flora and Fauna: Why it’s time to include fungi in global conservation goals‘ which further discusses the importance of fungi in our ecosystems and life.
Special thanks goes to all the partners who helped to make this event possible. They include Central Tablelands Local Land Services, Saving our Species, the Environmental Trust and also the Biodiversity Conservation Trust.